Yass Golf Club Board member Tony Luff takes a relaxed swing on course earlier this week.

The Yass Golf club, like many businesses in town, has seen changes over the past few months. Due to the restrictions and regulations put in place by the New South Wales government, there have been many changes put into effect. Some of these include record keeping of patrons for COVID-19 tracing purposes, social distancing lines in the club, and keeping the golf contactless.

“It has been challenging; it has been hard. The board and myself have worked through those things, and I think we have done a good job,” said Adrian Lynch, General Manager of the Yass Golf Club. The beginning was seemingly the hardest with regulations placed on the number of people allowed in a group. Cart-hire was affected because only one person could be seated in the cart at a time, and people were not allowed to congregate in big groups around tee off areas.

“We had spaced tee off times and people waiting in cars to avoid contact,” Mr Lynch explained. “We took the opinion that we could manage through that risk and still keep our staff members and the public safe, which we did. The members and community helped so much to make it work.” The Golf Club has even started using QR codes to register for membership. This provides a contactless way to sign up; however, paper options are still available for people who prefer it. Now the restrictions have eased, you can play as a group of four, cart hire is back to usual, while the tee-off times continue to be spaced apart. There are also rules in place about bunkers and flags to try and keep the sport as contactless as possible. Mr Lynch confirmed Club Championships would go ahead in October – November, previously postponed in May due to the outbreak. Other competitions such as weekly Stableford events are still going ahead, while two weeks ago the senior’s team won the local district pennants.

When asked about how COVID-19 has affected the number of people playing golf, My Lynch said there was more interest recently. “Golf provides a wonderful open-air experience. You don’t have to be tiger woods to enjoy golf!” “When you join up, the members are more than happy to show you the ropes and help you play.” There has been an increase in membership, attributed to the fact that golf is a very social game which allows people to get outdoors. While the golf has been going steady, the restrictions placed on the club have been more of an issue.

The club cannot currently hold events or functions if a group exceeds more than 10 people which has been hard for them. The maximum occupancy is presently 40 people. “We have a social responsibility as a venue holder; we not only have to look after the people who come here and the community but also our staff. My staff are working front lines of multiple contacts,” Mr Lynch stated. The club had moved away from doing meat trays but is about to start raffles again because they believe they can safely conduct them. While bookings are not required, Mr Lynch said they are strongly preferred. Due to the limited capacity and the spaced tee-off times, there is no guarantee there will be enough room to accommodate everyone. Ryan Betts