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Members of Bishop's Stortford Golf Club and Bishop's Stortford Lawn Tennis Club return to action after lockdown 3 restrictions ease




The sporting cobwebs were blown away when outdoor action resumed this week following the further loosening of coronavirus restrictions.

Monday marked the second easing of the third national lockdown, which was imposed on January 5, following the reopening of schools on March 8.

And the reopening of outdoor facilities was welcomed by the likes of Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club and Bishop’s Stortford Lawn Tennis Club, where members have enjoyed getting back out on the course and court.

Four BSGC members prepare for their first round since lockdown restrictions forced the closure of sporting venues in January. Picture: Vikki Lince. (45644026)
Four BSGC members prepare for their first round since lockdown restrictions forced the closure of sporting venues in January. Picture: Vikki Lince. (45644026)

“It’s good to be back,” said Judy Barker, manager at the golf club in Dunmow Road. “Going into lockdown 3 on January 5 seems such a long time ago, but we have used the time wisely whilst being closed.

“We’ve had a full complement of greens staff working throughout the lockdown and the course has had time to breathe due to no footfall. We’ve also carried out some project work by constructing new bunkers on three holes.

“We have been extremely fortunate with a large group of member volunteers who have acted as starters on the first tee; this has played a major part in our ‘safe golf’ procedures.”

BSGC manager Judy Barker has a quick chat with mum and daughter Tracy and Lucy Walker before their round. Picture: Vikki Lince. (45644017)
BSGC manager Judy Barker has a quick chat with mum and daughter Tracy and Lucy Walker before their round. Picture: Vikki Lince. (45644017)

“Our annual subscription renewals have also taken place whilst in lockdown, which brought a new challenge for the office team who have been working from home. There was a boom in golf club memberships nationally last year and our club benefitted along with many others.

“Our waiting lists have now increased with 60 full members, 25 young adult members and over 100 junior members all keen and waiting to join the club.”

Growth is also on the agenda over at the tennis club, in Cricketfield Lane, where extra junior sessions have been added and some courts are being made bigger to meet demand.

“We are thrilled to have reopened after three long months without tennis,” said BSLTC manager Natalie Dwyer. “Our members couldn’t wait to get back on court to brush up their skills in time for hopefully a long and warm summer!

Members back on court at Bishop's Stortford Lawn Tennis Club on Monday .Pic: Vikki Lince. (45644030)
Members back on court at Bishop's Stortford Lawn Tennis Club on Monday .Pic: Vikki Lince. (45644030)

“Junior coaching resumed from Monday too, and we have had to add six more holiday camps to meet demand – we’d like to make tennis accessible to all.

“We are so pleased to have received planning permission to convert our mini courts to full-sized courts meaning we will soon be offering lots more availability to members, for pay and play and coaching groups.”

Restrictions are scheduled to ease again no earlier than April 12 when non-essential retail can reopen and restaurants and pubs will be allowed to serve outdoors.

BSLTC members are hoping for a long, hot summer. Pic: Vikki Lince. (45644133)
BSLTC members are hoping for a long, hot summer. Pic: Vikki Lince. (45644133)

Golf club boss Barker said: “Our bar and catering staff have all been on furlough and they’re very much looking forward to getting back to the club on April 12 for when we open our large patio area, offering table service to members, guests and visitors.

“Our pro shop also opens on April 12 and is fully stocked with all the latest golf equipment and clothing for both men and ladies. Everyone is welcome to visit the shop and club.”

From left, club captain Graham Ansbridge, director of golf Simon Sheppard, Michael Walpole, lady captain Sandy Rowsell, starter Val Crocker and club chairman Jim Smith on the first tee at Bishop's Stortford Golf Club on Monday morning. Picture: Vikki Lince. (45643984)
From left, club captain Graham Ansbridge, director of golf Simon Sheppard, Michael Walpole, lady captain Sandy Rowsell, starter Val Crocker and club chairman Jim Smith on the first tee at Bishop's Stortford Golf Club on Monday morning. Picture: Vikki Lince. (45643984)


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