Bootle and Southport golf courses set to open this week but with important changes

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Bootle and Southport golf courses are set to open this week for the first time since lockdown, but some important changes have been put in place.

Run by Sefton Council, Bootle Golf Course and Southport Golf Links are to be opened to the public on Wednesday, May 20 at 9am.

The news comes as Boris Johnson eased the lockdown measures last week and said there was no limit on outdoor exercise, however social distancing measures still applied.

Activities such as golf are permitted as long as you are either alone, with members of your household or with one other person from another household, two metres apart.

To keep in line with government advice, the local authority has created some important rules in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Tee slots now must be booked in advance over the phone and will be available every 10 minutes for pairs or single golfers from 9am to 7pm only.

Facilities will be closed, this includes toilets and the shop will only be able to take payments by card for green fees and will operate on a one in and one out policy.

Food and drink and golf equipment is not currently available for sale or hire in accordance with government guidelines.

However, Sefton Council said the prices to play for on the municipal golf courses have been held at 2019/20 levels.

Other rules include:

  • No hiring of equipment in the first period of the lockdown – this is to prevent the transmission of any virus to other golfers. This includes clubs, trolleys and buggies.
  • No rakes in bunkers.
  • The practice putting green will remain closed following government guidance.
  • Golfers are encouraged not to arrive at the course more than 15 minutes before their allotted slot and to get changed in the car park.
  • After their round, golfers are asked to leave as soon as possible.
  • Social golf is only permissible in government guidelines with one other person or as a single golfer.
  • Golf must be played off the yellow or red tees only.
  • Must pre-book a tee slot time – there is no option to turn up and play
  • Tee slots are released six days in advance and can only be booked through the shop via the telephone.
  • Tee times will be from the first tee only – there will be no option to start on the back nine.
  • Must tee off at designated time and slow play will not be tolerated. There is a 10 minute window to maintain social distancing.
  • If playing with a partner, must remain two metres apart at all time including on the tee, fairway, searching for lost balls and on the green.
  • Do not touch the flag stick – it must remain in the hole at all times.
  • Do not pick up stray balls on the course – this is an infection risk.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing said the local authority was pleased they could reopen the courses albeit on a limited basis.

He said: “We are delighted that the facilities at Bootle and Southport have been able to re-open, although on a limited basis, and that we can offer an affordable way to enjoy the game.

“Golf is a healthy activity and we want to encourage young people to get involved and keep active, but everyone should bear in mind that social distancing measures are still in place.

“We are opening the courses on a limited basis at the moment, and will amend the approach in line with national guidance, and with the health and safety of players and our staff in mind.”

Last week, Sefton Council announced it had reopened outdoor tennis and basketball courts.

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However, it said children’s playgrounds, outdoor gyms, bowling greens, dog areas and pavilions and buildings in parks will remain closed for the time being.

The local authority also said its eyes and ears and to report any large gatherings to the police by dialling 101 or the council’s Green Sefton unit.

Golfers will only be able to play by booking a tee time through the respective golf club shops, which will open today people are asked to call 0151 928 1371 to book a tee time at Bootle Golf Course or 01704 535286 for Southport Golf Links.


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