Ryley Martin and Glenn Joyner are just glad to be out playing the game they love
Ryley Martin and Glenn Joyner are just glad to be out playing the game they love

NOOSA GOLF CLUBS: We’re playing on FORE sure

TWO Noosa golf clubs are still teeing off to offer local lovers of the game a sporting outlet despite the Golf Australia advice to close up shop because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Noosa Springs and Noosa Golf clubs are playing on in defiance but have imposed strict conditions of play in line with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s direction to limit public gatherings to two people.

Golf Australia recommended that in light of the most recent restrictions, courses throughout Australia should close immediately which saw most Sunshine Coast clubs immediately comply.

But the Noosa clubs argue that it’s not Golf Australia setting the rules in these unprecedented times but rather the federal and state governments.

Noosa Springs executive general manager Mark Brady said he was not expecting any crackdown from the authorities for remaining open.

“Not at all, in my mind the Government has given us the regulations to operate under and we’re sticking to them to the letter of the law and probably going further,” Mr Brady said.

“To me, it was a recommendation (to close) by the Golf Australia board, but in times like this I believe you listen to the one voice that’s running the country.”

He said they have been specifically been told by authorities they have to shut the spa, the gym and the rest of their operations.

“But if ScoMo (Prime Minister Scott Morrison) comes on this Sunday and says you’ve got to shut the golf course, we’re shut,” he said.

“Our members are very appreciative, I actually do marshalling on the course every day to ensure everyone is abiding by the rules and everyone’s aware that it’s a privilege and no one’s taking it for granted,” Mr Brady said.

He said carts were sanitised before and after every use, and no more than one person was allowed in the golf shop at any one time.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety of members and visitors, while providing them with the chance to play the game they love,” Mr Brady said.

Both clubs will abide by all federal restrictions with the tough, new conditions including players respecting proper distancing from fellow players and:

  • No more than two players in a group
  • No more than one person in a cart (though family members can share)
  • No alcohol sold, or able to be brought onto the course
  • Flagsticks on greens must not be touched
  • Extended spacing between groups to prevent congestion.

ON COURSE: Noosa Springs has everything to like about a golf course.
ON COURSE: Noosa Springs has everything to like about a golf course.

Rules already in place – including the removal of ball washing units from courses and rakes from bunkers – will continue to be enforced, while cash is a last resort for payment.

Noosa Golf Club manager Allan Harris said his club was focusing particularly on the needs of members and offering only social golf opportunities.

However, Noosa Springs is encouraging visitors – including members of other Coast clubs that have closed down.

Noosa Springs has extended its Sunday locals-only special rate to all seven days. This means Coast golfers, and those from Gympie, can play for $79 – a discount of more than $40 – and ride alone in a motorised cart.

On Friday a bunch of now golfing professionals including Glenn Joyner and young aspiring touring pro Ryley Martin were out on the course keeping their eye with a game between themselves.

“They’re playing today because they’ve lost their livelihood for this year as the PGA have no tournaments,” Mr Brady said.

“Professional tournament golf in Australia has been cancelled for the foreseeable future but by having courses open they are still able to practice and enjoy the game they love.

“It is also an opportunity for an old head to pass on some knowledge to an up and comer.”

Noosa Springs has also begun a service to provide takeaway meals to Noosa residents and did their first delivery on Thursday night with 17 meals home-delivered locally.

“We’ve got 30 tonight, I’ve got some myself,” Mr Brady said.

The resort will deliver pre-ordered meals to residents of Noosa Springs and Park Ridge, and provide a pick-up service to other residents.

The service is available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and orders must be placed by 2pm the previous day by calling 5440 3332.