PLAY is gradually returning towards normality at Cricket St Thomas Golf Club, following its re-opening after the coronavirus lockdown.

Senior section member Bert Robinson provided the Chard & Ilminster News with the following update on how things are progressing at the club:

“Seniors golf is back at Cricket St Thomas and, from last week, fourballs were permitted.

“The management has been meticulous in its planning and while the clubhouse is not available, players enjoy a car to tee to car experience.

“All tee times have to be pre-booked and confirmed on arrival by following a one-way system, and observing social distancing.

“Sanitiser is widely available and the need to handle shared equipment such as rakes, flag poles and scorecards has been eliminated.

“Technology such as Vpar has been adopted by captain James Siabi.

“This allows one player in a team to enter all the scores, which the captain can access electronically.

“Despite being seniors, they have adapted well to the use of WhatsApp groups, Zoom meetings, email and other applications to enable competitions to go ahead.

“Weekly qualifiers are played every Wednesday, in order to maintain correct handicaps.

“The stars of this week were Jerry Blackburn (42 points) and Clive Fisk (39 points), who were this week’s winners out of the 33 participants in the qualifiers.

“It is anticipated that next week will see the introduction of the individual and pairs knockout competitions.

“The very nature of the game enables a safe two-metre separation, as the players invariably go different ways after the initial tee shot.

“Club buggies are back in use, but naturally these are being restricted to one person.

“The club professional has resumed his teaching lessons, non-members are now permitted to play and club competitions are being played at the weekends.

“With many members still on furlough leave, the club remains very busy and tee slots are in high demand.”