Golf numbers are up at Houghton

Houghton Golf Club CEO, Robby Richardson and club professional, Richard Kaplan keep the club on its feet. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

More people are currently playing golf at Houghton Golf Club than at the same time last year.

However, the financial implications of the lockdown, and especially the first several weeks of lockdown when no one was allowed to play golf, have taken their toll on the club. The club’s CEO, Robby Richardson and club professional Richard Kaplan met with Rosebank Killarney Gazette to discuss the situation. They explained the club implemented all safety precautions set out by Golf RSA, Club Management Association of Southern Africa (CMASA) and the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) South Africa as well as a few safety protocols of their own.

“We have placed dividers in the golf carts so two people can ride in them but they are divided,” Richardson explained.

“The carts are also spray-sanitised three times a day.”There are sanitising stations at different locations around the club, and everyone is screened and has their temperature taken at the entrance. Face masks are also required when not playing. Kaplan said social distancing is easy to maintain on the golf course.”Our caddies are also not carrying bags at the moment,” he said.

“They are spread throughout the course and go up and down raking the bunkers. Golfers do have the option to have a caddy go with them for their whole round, to offer advice like they normally did.” The pro golfer added that club members had been donating cash to a caddie trust. That, and UIF payments that later came through, ensured the caddies were never in need during the lockdown.

He added that he was giving plenty of golf lessons every day. The club was recently allowed to implement two-tee starts but staff decided to maintain their one-tee starts for safety and also to reduce costs.

“Golf is a very safe sport to play and I would encourage the community to come through for a round or two,” Richardson added.”Our restaurant is open for sit-down meals and we wipe the tables and chairs down after each use. This is an opportunity to get outdoors and exercise safely.”

Details: Houghton Golf Club 011 483 3072; 011 728 7337.

Also read: Houghton Golf Club cannot wait to tee-off 

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