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Attacking pin, not an option

Mahunga Golf Club opened for members only today. PHOTO/FILE


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Wairarapa golfers can get back in the swing from today, with the opening of golf courses with the country moving to Alert Level 3. But severe restrictions are in place.

New Zealand Golf on Friday distributed a list of operational guidelines that clubs must adhere to if they decide to open their courses for play.

They include golfers playing alone or playing with others from within their bubble.

Golf clubs must be able to control access to the course; tee-off times must be booked in advance, either online by text or phone, and all players must be registered when they arrive.

Golfers must arrive ready to play and leave the facility immediately after play.

Green flagsticks and bunker rakes must be removed from the course, and players cannot share equipment.

Clubhouses, pro shops, changing facilities and toilets will also be closed.

Scorecards cannot be physically issued before play nor returned after play, and no scores will be accepted by NZ Golf for handicapping.

Despite the limitations, Wairarapa golf clubs are rearing to go.

Masterton Golf Club president Andy Pottinger said their Lansdowne course will be open for members.

“We’ll give it a go, but there are some very strict guidelines, which we have sent out to the members,” he said. “It’s pretty much golfers getting out there for a bit exercise.”

The list of criteria sent to members requires golfers to book a tee-off time online.

Bookings opened from 8am today. Daily bookings will shut at 8pm the night before, allowing the duty person to prepare the start sheet.

Tee times will start at 8.30am, with the last tee available at 2pm, and players will have to be at the car park 10 minutes before their tee-off time.

No pre-round practice putts are permitted, and golfers have to play the holes in the correct order.

Martinborough Golf Club club captain Andy Morison confirmed they will open.

“There’s quite a bit of interest but we will open just for members,” he said.

The Martinborough club’s website provides an online booking system.

Carterton Golf Club president Grant Smith said the course was in great condition and would be open for members from 8am today.

“We’ll have a proper registration procedure when players arrive,” he said. “We’re not expecting hundreds turning up, and we’ll probably only get 15 or 20 a day.”

Mahunga Golf Club will also operate a registration process.

President Layton Kawana said the course will open from midday for members only.

“It should be quiet, and the players will pretty much be in their own bubbles and it should work out well,” he said.

Eketahuna Golf Club treasurer Hamish Anderson confirmed its course will open tomorrow.

“We’ll be opening as long as the rules allow us to, and it will be pretty well policed,” he said.

“There are quite a few people chomping at the bit. Our first day is Ladies Day, and they’re pretty good at organising things, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.”

The Riversdale Beach Golf Club’s website states that the course is open, but the clubrooms and tennis courts remain closed. The club also has an online booking facility.

There was no response from the Castlepoint Golf Club.

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