GOLFERS have had to bide their time but they will soon be allowed to set foot on their local course again – and one Northwich club cannot wait to welcome them back.

Antrobus Golf Club, based off Foggs Lane, are counting down the days until their members and guests can return to action, with up to fourballs allowed again from Monday, March 29, as per the Government’s easing down of coronavirus national lockdown restrictions.

“Extremely excited, we can hardly wait, beside ourselves,” said club secretary Jill Cordingley.

“It’s not particularly quiet at the moment. We’ve got lots of interest from people wanting to play golf; members, visitors and societies.

“We’re obviously trying to look after the members initially, but visitors will be welcome as soon as we can.”

And she joked: “While we do reopen, I expect it to be mental. I think I’ll be bringing my duvet here.”

The situation will be assessed in early April, and then once again in mid-April as they plan to phase in the return of visitors.

And like so many golf clubs, being shut since early January has caused economic difficulty.

So, just how much have they been challenged financially by the Covid-19 pandemic?

“Significantly,” she said.

“Obviously, no revenue whatsoever. We also have a driving range, which subsidises our golf course, that’s not been open and there’s no revenue from that at all.

“This is the expensive time of the membership because we are getting the grass seed on the tees and the greens are being addressed and all of the machinery has got to be serviced and maintained.

“It’s put a lot of pressure on us financially. But we are keen to start again, and we are keen to hopefully move forward.”

Despite the courses reopening, clubhouses remain shut.

They are allowed to serve food and drink outside from April 12, with clubhouses scheduled to open from May 17 provided all goes to plan.

“That’s a big part of the income with regards to visitors and members alike,” she said.

“All they can do at the moment is play golf. The whole golfing experience revolves around the 19th hole. We all like to go into the 19th hole and share all those great shots that we had out there over a nice pint or a cup of coffee if we’re being sensible and unfortunately that’s not going to happen.

“But as soon as we can get back, that’s what we will do because it’s an integral part of our course.”