Alec Fernihough is the owner of Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Droitwich, Worcs, a club that was already member rich but has seen a huge rise in numbers as many clubs have during COVID affected 2020.

The issue of how to fit them all in for their regular rounds will be more relevent than ever this week when golf returns after lockdown II. Hordes of eager golfers will be itching for a game, a situation made even more challenging by the ever decreasing hours of daylight in December.

Here, Alec (pictured below on the left with MG at our awards ceremony in 2017)  suggests his solution to the dilemma faced, it might not suit everyone but it’s a worthwhile topic to debate at least.

Article written for MG on November 28th

“Golfers, whether members or visitors have got to remember that this winter will be like no other for golf in that there is such a demand to get out but so little time for 18 holes. Lets face it, on a normal, unfoggy day with 8 minute tee intervals there are only 30 to 31 tee slots available to get people out and guarantee 18 holes .from 8am to 12 pm. So only around 120 golfers can get 18 holes in.”

“Provided you have both nines by the clubhouse as we do, playing 9 holes early in the morning between 08.00 and 09.30 off the 10th tee before the first group comes round again gives the opportunity for a further 12 tee times for 9 holes in the morning for those who have other things to do after lunch.

After 12.00 we are moving into twilight golf territory depending upon cloud cover and there might be space for a further 15 “twilight” rounds between 12 and 14.00.”

Fixated

“Surely the idea of getting a couple of hours of golf and social interaction is better than none, but I keep having people ringing up asking to book a tee time and being fixated with playing 18 holes. These golfers could easily get a game of golf if they slightly changed their perspective but instead they end up being disappointed because someone has got there ahead of them.

In the depths of winter an 18 hole course can get 124 18 hole rounds and 96 9 hole minimum rounds out each day if required, so lots of golfers can get a game – they just have to slightly alter their mindset.”

“We’ve been fortunate in golf in 2020 that so many golfers have returned to the game or have started memberships this year. It remains imperative that we continue to give them the right backing and experiences now golf is returning again. 9 hole golf in the short term could be a useful solution, two hours of golf is better than no golf at all. If we can get clubs and publications talking about this, then hopefully more players can get back on the fairways as soon as possible this winter.”