Dear Members,

Well, it has been a busy old week, but finally, we all have a date for golf to recommence to look forward to. Every person I’ve talked to is itching to get back on the course.

I’d like to begin by once again thanking all the volunteers who have contributed one way or another in the last week to getting things ready for Friday.  Joe Kennedy has put in some great work painting the shipping containers sitting at the far end of the car park, ably assisted by Alan Lee in the latter stages (he seems to get everywhere does Alan, what a man!). Thank you also to Neil Rennie for providing the painting materials to get the job done. Stevie Moffat, Alan Douglas, Bob Stokes, Robert Montgomery and Jim McEwan all put in a shift devoted to weeding and tidying up the bunkers. We aim to get them all raked this week prior to opening.

With regards golf starting up again, some quite comprehensive guidelines were issued last week, I would urge you to all please read them again before starting back golfing.

On Thursday, we’ll reissue some of the main bulletin points from the guidelines just to ensure they remain at the forefront of people’s minds when we start back. Covid 19 will still be with us on Friday.

We’ve had some questions as to when we will permit 3 and 4 ball golf, given that the government guidelines do not restrict this. Government guidelines permit a 3 or a 4 ball if it involves not more than 2 households. For example, 2 husband and wife teams, or a husband and wife team and a single other player. It does not permit a 3 ball or a 4 ball from 3 or 4 separate households.

We are not permitting 3 or 4 balls at Harburn just yet, basically, we wanted to get the course open with 2 balls only, with a view to quick moving games to get as many people playing the course in as short a time as possible in the first week back. However, once we are comfortable that the tee booking is working well and that social distancing measures are being followed, we will aim to permit 3 and 4 ball times to be booked.

All going well, we’ll aim to open up the tee sheet for these types of bookings sometime in the second week back.

I’ve heard some concerning stories from other clubs about BRS crashing and a lot of unhappiness from members at other clubs about a lack of workable tee time booking procedures. However, I believe from the feedback received that our system and procedures have largely worked very well with all members being able to get their tee time across the first few days.

Thank you to everyone for working with us to manage this as fairly as possible.

Juniors

As well as getting our members back to golf safely, we’ve also been considering how to safely get our Juniors back playing golf as well. After some deliberation, we’ve decided to form a small Academy Course on the practice area across the road. This area was not scheduled to reopen in the short term, and in repurposing it, we believe that it will offer an opportunity to get our Juniors back swinging again safely, whilst also keeping the main course free at a time when a number of our members remain on furlough.

Jim McGrane is currently recruiting a band of volunteers to help with maintaining a short 6 hole course for the juniors so that there is no impact upon our reduced greens team. We hope to have everything ready in approximately 2 weeks time and will keep you updated.

In closing, I’d like to pay tribute to our Members Secretary, Fiona. Despite being on 50% reduced hours and having already worked them, Fiona was pretty much on call and helping members all the way through Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you do need to contact Fiona for any reason please take time to remember your email is being received by another human being who is working hard to try and please each and every one of you, please be kind.

Yours in golf

Jim Stewart
Captain