Lockdown rules hit Canterbury golf courses hard

The Tai Tapu golf course. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The Tai Tapu golf course. Photo: Geoff Sloan

Canterbury Golf has joined a national cry for critical maintenance to be allowed on golf courses during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Under the lockdown, greenkeepers are not permitted to tend to golf courses.

Canterbury Golf is currently supporting New Zealand Golf in its quest to have the current restrictions altered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, to allow for critical maintenance to be carried out in a solo manner.

Canterbury Golf general manager Grant Lewis said if grounds were not maintained for a whole month, it could be months before they reopen again.

Mr Lewis was also concerned some of the region's clubs may not survive.

"There may be some clubs that may have been struggling a wee bit before the lockdown and this could be the straw that breaks the camel's back," he said.

The Russley golf course. Photo: Supplied
The Russley golf course. Photo: Supplied
Golf New Zealand chief executive Dean Murphy labelled the situation as "extremely desperate."

"The worst-case scenario is that golf clubs could become damaged beyond repair and some will have to close," he said.

Tai Tapu Golf Club club manager Steve Piper said it would be "a very big job" to bring the course back to a standard worthy of reopening.

"It could be weeks if not months to get everything back to scratch," he said.

"Especially at this time of year in autumn, it is a critical time for grounds."

The Tai Tapu Golf Club.  Photo: Geoff Sloan
The Tai Tapu Golf Club. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Russley Golf Club general manager Giles Beal said if the lockdown lasted beyond four weeks it could begin to cause some issues for the club.

"As it stands at the moment, we will probably be OK for the next two or three weeks. if it [lockdown] goes further, then that is when issues could start to arise," he said.

Said Clearwater Golf Club board chairman Kevin Simcock: "With a four-week lockdown, it could be four weeks to get things back to normal and there will be significant additional costs and labour to achieve that."

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