Golf and tennis clubs reopen as restrictions loosen in England

Liam Harrison He missed golf so much that he left his home at 4am on Wednesday morning to be the first to play for his Manchester club.

Harrison, 42, even believes he was the first golfer to play anywhere in England after the loosening of the coronavirus closure restrictions on golf courses and tennis courts

Harrison helped put the cups on three greens on Tuesday as part of his YouTube series at the outfielders at the Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club, where he is a member.

That gave me permission to play whenever I wanted, he said. This morning I thought I would play at 5 a.m. and would be the first person in the UK to play golf after closing.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson On Sunday he outlined a roadmap to ease restrictions and maintain forms of social distancing.

It really is pretty safe, Harrison said before starting at the 13th hole in his second round on Wednesday. We are not stupid. Just follow the rules.

Sports venues were ordered to be closed in March when Britain imposed a lockdown. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can set their own stance on tennis courts and golf courses. Wales is expected to open golf courses on May 18.

The coronavirus has claimed more than 32,000 lives across Britain in a death toll behind only the United States.

Golf and tennis clubs were inundated with calls and emails from members and the public after Johnson's announcement to begin reopening.

At the Kington Golf Club in Herefordshire, officials had hand sanitizers on holes 1 and 18, banned touching flags, and established one-way routes on and off the course.

Wendy Douglas, who oversees women's tournaments at the club on the Welsh border, said that at least half of its estimated 375 members are retired.

If we follow the guidelines, we should be absolutely fine, he said.

The club is 1,280 feet above sea level, Douglas said, offering beautiful views, especially from the eighth tee.

You can see it all over Wales and go back to England, he said. It is the highest place in the field.

About 75% of members renewed their subscriptions in April, which is less than previous years but still pretty good, Douglas said.

Golf of England, the governing body for amateur golf in England, said it is unclear whether professional shops and driving ranges can reopen under the new guidelines.

We recommend that where there is room for doubt, clubs and facilities look for the simplest and safest option, the organization, which oversees 1,800 clubs and 630,000 players, said in a statement on its website.

To protect workers, England Golf He instructed clubs to stagger work hours and break times and assign individual machinery such as mowers to a single worker. Other measures include regularly disinfecting surfaces, such as door handles.

In London, Nancy Pace had booked a tennis court for Wednesday at Will to Win Regent's Park, but it was canceled because the club needed time to prepare, she said. Instead, she'll play Friday.

I also have court time scheduled for Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, and I thought about Sunday. But it's probably going to hurt, said the 46-year-old American.

Living indoors is unsustainable for an indefinite period of time, Pace said. Right now, this is not a way of life. This only exists.

Kim Britten, another American, said she misses the camaraderie with her tennis partners, including Pace.

I am anxious, Britten said, for the freedom to be on the court.