Maitland closed for now, Branxton, Beresfield and Paterson reopened and Kurri to reopen Friday

IN PLAY: Rookie professional Blake Windred will benefit from the backflip. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
IN PLAY: Rookie professional Blake Windred will benefit from the backflip. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Hunter golfers will hit the fairways again after the NSW Government ruled on Wednesday that the sport could continue in line with Public Health Orders.

From Thursday morning Beresfield, Branxton and Paterson golf courses as well as Hunter Valley resort courses Cyrpess Lakes, The Vintage and Crowne Plaza reopened.

Kurri Kurri will reopen from Friday morning. Maitland remains closed for now, however, the situation is under review.

As a volunteer based organisation Dungog Golf Club remains closed, however, the board will review the situation in a week.

On Tuesday, the majority of courses closed after a directive following a tightening of restrictions to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

However, after further consultation, the government did a backflip and gave the green light for clubs to trade albeit under strict protocols.

"After reconsideration, the Office of Sport - NSW Government - has advised that golf is considered an activity that can continue to be played in line with Public Health Orders relating to public gathering limits, social distancing and the elderly," Golf NSW said in a statement

The move is against a recommendation by Golf Australia for clubs to close.

Groups will be limited to two players, there will be one person per cart, flags will remain in the cups and only one person will be permitted in the pro-shop at a time. Government social distances guidelines are also in place.

Kurri Golf Club is taking online and phone bookings only and has warned anyone who just turns up they will be turned away.

In a Facebook post outlining restrictions the club warning that anyone caught breaching any restrictions may face a three-month ban from the club as well as being reported to police for prosecution.

"The structure we are putting in place is far from ideal but necessary at this time to allow our members and guests to not only play but also look after the health and safety of everyone involved," the club statement said.

All clubs have advised members to acquaint themselves fully with guidelines and restrictions on their respective Facebook and web pages.

Kurri's guidelines include

  • Tee start at seven-minute intervals
  • Two players per group, no exceptions (even for family members)
  • Only one person in the Pro shop at any time
  • All practice facilities remain closed. This Includes the putting greens, practice range and nets
  • No practice allowed at any time.
  • One person and bag per cart
  • We strongly urge our older "high risk" members to stay at home. Anyone who disregards this recommendation does so at their own risk
  • Single stableford competitions to run on Tuesday, Wednesday (for Ladies and Seniors), Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Arrive 10 minutes before your tee time. Wait in your car until seven mins before tee time. Make your way to Pro shop then directly to the first tee
  • When you finish your round complete your card asap, put it in the box and move to your car and leave the course immediately
  • At no time can players loiter around the pro shop or outdoor area

Waratah, Belmont, Merewether, Toronto and Nelson Bay golf clubs are open in Newcastle with Belmont and Merewether open to members only.

This story Hunter golfers receive green light after government backflip first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.