Golf courses reopen under strict COVID-19 rules
The wails of despair that rang out across the state a fortnight ago have now been replaced with cheers after a Golf Australia backflip has allowed licensed clubs to reopen.
But there is a strict limit of only two players per group and one person per cart, unless two players live in the same house.
Players aged over 70 were asked to stay home, alcohol was strictly forbidden and players must keep a minimum 1.5m distance from each other.
The State Government crackdown on nightclubs and bars, followed by a GA edict, saw all four Brisbane westside clubhouses and courses shut.
But it was no joke on April Fools' Day when Ashgrove Golf Club announced it was back up and running, from midday that day.
Indooroopilly Golf Club, Brisbane River Golf Club (at Karana Downs) and Hillstone St Lucia Golf Club were all accepting players today.
"Sanity has prevailed. there were different rules and regulations which gave us mixed information,'' a St Lucia manager said.
"Every golf course, like every other business, has been shattered by coronavirus but at least we can now accept players.
"The wedding venue and restaurant are still closed but we had players out today.''
IGC chief executive Steve Lammerton, who was out on the course, could not be contacted at time of writing.
BRGC, which is a vital hub in the area - a long drive from Ipswich and the Brisbane CBD - welcomed the news.
AGC president Paul McLennan urged his members to abide by the rules, otherwise the club might be forced to close again.
"Golf Australia have changed their stance and now support Queensland golf clubs opening in line with legislation published by the Queensland Health Department,'' he informed members on a Facebook post on Wednesday night.
"Staff will be actively monitoring and enforcing the new restrictions.
'This is a fast-moving situation. our aim is to have the golf course open for our members and guests.''
The new rules of play (at Ashgrove, but similar in most clubs)
1. Players aged over 70 asked to stay home.
2. No alcohol.
3. Maximum of two people allowed inside pro shops.
4. No loitering anywhere on premises.
5. Keep to a minimum 1,5m distance, no congregating on tees or greens.
6. Arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before the tee, leave immediately after the game.
7. Maximum two people per group.
8. One person per cart unless both players live in the same house.
9. Carts can carry two sets of clubs, if one person walks.
10. All competitions for the foreseeable future will be single Stableford.
11. All booked sessions must be re-booked.
12. Bunker rakes removed.
13. Flag sticks not to be touched. Arrangements in place to remove balls from holes without touching.