Golf clubs in Waimakariri are welcoming players back now that the country is on Level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown. Pegasus Golf Club is the only one still closed and its members are turning up in large numbers at Kaiapoi which offers online and phone bookings for both members and green fee players. “Members get preference but the green fee players are filling up the gaps in our booking sheets to make us busier than normal.” says Acting Secretary/Treasurer, and Board Member Graham Moore. ‘We are flat out!” “Players have been desperate to play and we are seeing huge numbers of smiles.” The Kaiapoi club is getting 70-75 players every day, an increase from the 60 a day during club day on Thursdays pre-lockdown. Saturday, the first after isolation levels were reduced, was fully booked as keen golfers were able to take up their sport after waiting for five weeks to play again. Golf players must follow new rules under Level 3 conditions with social distancing and all other Level 3 rules to abide by to ensure no physical contact. Balls no longer fall into the holes as the cup is raised for the ball to hit. There are no rakes, no cards, no toilets nor entry to the clubhouse. No longer the social game it has been in the past, play is only allowed for people in the same bubble and many are husband and wife. Around half of the bookings are of this nature while the other half are those playing alone. A team of three at Kaiapoi have been kept busy managing the new system. Records have to be kept of players’ names and contact details along with times played and who was in their bubble, should virus transmission need to be investigated later on. Previous club captain, Tricia Taylor, assists with office work and board chair Jack Oldridge is out on the green making sure the rules are understood by all players. Elsewhere in the district Rangiora Golf Club accepts bookings from members only, while Waimakariri Gorge and Amberley offer both members and green fee players the opportunity to play under Level 3 rules. To help clubs manage this new way of playing golf, Canterbury Golf runs a video session once a week at which all clubs are represented and information is shared. Kaiapoi Golf has utilised the wage subsidy for their green keeper and the clubhouse-based caterers who continue to operate, although at a lower level than normal, have been provided with a lease holiday.