Altrincham Golf Course is to reopen “shortly” – signalling an end to the freedom that local walkers and cyclists have enjoyed on the land during lockdown.
Trafford Leisure, a non-profit wholly owned by Trafford Council which manages the golf course, said it had been “carefully considering” the latest government advice which states that golf courses can reopen from today, so long as players play with members from the same household or one player from another household, and conform to social distancing measures.
The 100-acre course has been used by a large number of people for walking and cycling during the lockdown so far.
Reintroducing golf on the land will mean that non-members must stick to footpaths when crossing the course, as well as become more aware of golf balls in use by players.
Jo Cherrett, Trafford Leisure’s chief operating officer, said it was now considering how to transition the course “back to a space predominantly used for golf”.
She said: “We are pleased to announce that Altrincham Golf Course will be reopening shortly, once we have had the opportunity to deliver staff training with updated clear rules of play and current health and safety guidance.
“We want to make sure the course, and our team, is ready for socially distanced play and we will do all that we can to ensure you feel safe.”
She added: “Our local community has enjoyed using the golf course for physical activity during this closure and it is important that we consider this alongside our plans to re-open. We are communicating with our wider community to ensure the transition back to a space predominantly used for golf is harmonious.
“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement, the interest from our members, golfers and others sport-lovers in Trafford has been tremendous; so many people craving some kind of sport. Like you, we are excited to open our doors – it won’t be long! We can’t wait to welcome you back and help you to enjoy your summer golf.”
Only members will be allowed to use the course initially as Trafford Leisure tests the new rules and booking system.
Cherrett added: “Unlike most private courses, our golf course is accessible to everyone, and previously enjoyed by people from the age of five to 95.
“When we open, you can be assured that your safety, hand in hand with the enjoyment of being active, is at the heart of all our decisions.”
Cllr Michael Welton, Green Party councillor for Altrincham, called for improving walking and cycling routes on the course.
He said: “It has been great to see so many local people exploring Altrincham golf course during lockdown.
“We have been campaigning for improved walking and cycling routes across the course, and we are passing on the views of local residents to Trafford Leisure so that they can make informed choices about when and how to reopen the course for golf.”