It’s great to be back playing golf... I’ve really missed the frustration

Swings may have been a bit rusty and muscle memory a touch faded but Mannings Heath members, like golfers up and down the country, couldn’t wait to get back into action on Monday after 84 days of lockdown.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:34 pm
The first shot felt good

Tee times on the Waterfall course were booked solidly at eight-minute intervals throughout the day with the opening drives struck at 6.30am.

Members were delighted to find the course in excellent shape. It has clearly benefitted from the lack of winter traffic and from an extensive programme of ground clearance and re-contouring work by greens staff and volunteer members.

The work has opened up some new, or long-forgotten, views on various holes with some of the most striking changes on the course’s signature hole, the short tenth.

The sun shines on Mannings Heath's returning golfers

There is a better view of the Hammer Pond waterfall and the river below can now be seen more clearly as it winds towards the bridge over a series of smaller falls.

The World War II pillbox between tee and green, built to house four machine guns in the event of a German invasion, has also been more fully revealed with further work planned to clear its sides.

Although members will have to wait for the clubhouse and terrace to reopen they can now look forward to a full programme of golf with the first competitions beginning over Easter weekend.

On Monday, though, it was enough to be out in the sspring sunshine with friends again. As one weary member remarked as he trudged off the 18th green: “It’s great to be back playing. I’ve really missed the frustration!”