After almost 17 weeks of inactivity, the countdown is finally on for the reopening of Ennis Golf Club on Monday. And for Club President Steve Burns, it simply couldn’t come soon enough.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to have that focus again and to be honest, we really can’t wait for April 26th. I meet many members during the week out walking or shopping and the question is always the same ‘when are we getting back”.
More than just a healthy sporting passion, Burns, who marks his 35th year in the club in 2021, also stresses the social significance of Ennis Golf Club to its sizeable membership. “It’s only when it’s gone that you really appreciate the camaraderie and the friendships that you build up over the years. We’ve a very strong senior ladies and gents club on a Thursday and a Friday in Ennis Golf Club and before COVID, every Thursday morning, you could have 30 or 40 men sitting around having a cup of coffee and a chat.
“Oftentimes the golf was secondary to the occasion so I know I’m not alone in missing that interaction and social aspect.”
Allied to a thriving Junior Club that coaches boys and girls from just eight years old, the anticipation is almost palpable all-round ahead of the return to play.
“Talking to our course staff last week, they have been doing a lot of work over a long period and they just can’t wait to see the members back on the course and out on the fairways enjoying themselves once more. We all sat down around September and put together a winter/spring programme of improvements, renovations and repair work that has been undertaken since. The rebuilding of boundary walls, repair of security netting and sanding of the course are just some of the improvements.
“In addition, there has also been a big project of clearing trees that overshadow tee boxes and greens that in the long term will allow them to develop better. Overall, I think it will give members a slightly different perspective on the course when they return.
“Obviously we’ve still a bit of planning to do before that in terms of the protocols set out by Golf Ireland as it won’t be a case of arriving and taking out your club come the end of the month. It’s just the new way of playing I suppose that our members are familiar with it after last year but the main thing is that golf is back.
“So roll on the 26th.”