Back in the swing! Local golfers return as restrictions ease

There were plenty of happy faces on the fairways, greens and even rough of Roscommon’s golf courses this week as clubs welcomed members back following an easing of lockdown restrictions on Monday.

At Roscommon Golf Club, Secretary Paula Connaughton said the committee was delighted to reopen in glorious sunshine following a lay-off of almost four months.

“The timesheet was full from dawn to dusk, with members following all safety guidelines,” she said.

  “Club volunteers were on hand during the day to assist with the re-start, and feedback from the members was hugely positive, with many commenting on the wonderful condition of the course”.

Paula added that despite some rustiness, members were relieved to be getting back into the swing of things.

“There might have been the odd sliced drive or missed putt! But that didn’t seem to matter at all, as members were just delighted to be back out on the fairways,” she said.

Registrar Charlie Farrell said the club had welcomed many new members last year, and that positive growth trend looks set to continue into 2021.

“This growth is mirrored in our junior boys’ and girls’ sections, where the club juniors have enjoyed recent All-Ireland success at schools and club level. Junior Academy registration for current and new junior members will take place at the club from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, May 1st, with boys and girls Junior Convenors, John Lennon and Sandra Crean, in attendance and all safety protocols in place,” he said.

Charlie also highlighted the variety of attractive adult membership packages currently available (see Roscommon Golf Club’s advertisement on this page for more information).

Roscommmon Golf Club Treasurer, Liam Byrne, noted the effect a succession of Covid-19 ‘lockdowns’ had had on the club.

“Seven months of lockdowns have proved challenging for the club‘s finances, but with the continuing easing of restrictions and protocols, competitions can re-commence, together with the club being in a position to welcome green fee and society visitors later in the summer,” he said.

“It is an exciting time for golf. We have a new governing body, Golf Ireland, which is an amalgamation of the old men’s GUI and ladies’ ILGU. We also have a new handicapping system, the WHS, which members have also been fully advised of,” he added.

Meanwhile in Strokestown, Director and Treasurer, Tony Patton, said members were also delighted to back in action this week.

“We are really delighted to be back here in Strokestown and we look forward to welcoming new members in the very near future, especially new lady members as the ladies’ game continues to grow in popularity,” he said.

“It’s only open to members at the moment but we are hopeful that will change in the coming weeks and we can welcome everyone to our beautiful little picturesque course”.

Tony is confident that new members will fall in love with Strokestown, much like he did!

“My mother hailed from Lifford in Co. Donegal and I was educated in St. Colm’s in Derry before spending 22 years in Galway. Of course then I fell in love and moved here to beautiful Strokestown,” he said.

“I’m looking forward now to a busy summer on the course and seeing people happy again,” he concluded.