Waterlooville GC manager Mark Wycherley: ‘I don’t think golf should have been closed – but at least we have light at the end of the tunnel’

Waterlooville Golf Club manager Mark Wycherley is delighted to see his sport handed 'some light at the end of the tunnel.'

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 1:54 pm
Golfers will today return to action at the Waterlooville club at the end of next month. Picture: Neil Marshall

Boris Johnson confirmed clubs and courses nationwide would be permitted to open the doors to members and players again from March 29 as part of the Government's four-step roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Wycherley insisted it provided a huge boost after a gloomy couple of months following the sport's shutdown since January 4.

However, he has questioned why courses have not been allowed to open during lockdown.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

England Golf revealed their 'extreme disappointment' that the sport was not allowed to restart sooner than the end of next month.

But Wycherley is relieved there finally looks to be a route out of the gloom and a much more positive future.

He said: ‘It gives us light at the end of the tunnel.

‘For me, it’s kind of a mixed reaction.

‘I wanted golf back as quickly as possible.

‘I don’t think golf should have really been closed - I think it can be done safely.

‘March 8 would have been great (to be allowed to reopen) but I suppose March 29 - I understand the government’s cautious approach - they want this to be the last one and we want this to be the last one.

‘Having set out a roadmap, we can actually see a clear path back to normality.'

Waterlooville Golf Club could be back to operating under no restrictions this summer should all go to plan with the final step of the easing of restrictions roadmap on June 21.

Although still around four months away, Wycherley feels in the grand scheme of things, and given how tough the past 12 months have been, it's not such a long period to wait.

‘I’ve spoken to a few members, not loads, but they’ve felt they haven’t missed much by not being able to play because the weather has not been great anyway,' he added.

'There’s an end in sight. Members know they’ve just got to bear it for another few months and a few weeks at a time for the restrictions to be eased.

‘That’s what I’m telling myself, it’s less than four months, and we’ll be back to normal life.

‘That really, in the grand scheme of things of what we’ve experienced over the last 12 months, is not a long time.'