A POPULAR golf course is preparing to tee off as the UK's coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased.

Whitefield Golf Club, in Higher Lane, will reopen from tomorrow.

Some restrictions on play will remain. But with the sport 'naturally lending itself to social-distancing', the club is hoping to attract new members.

Gary Silver, board member at the club, said: "Like every other golf course in the country, the golfers of Whitefield Golf Club are delighted to be able to play after weeks away.

"Our members have been waiting patiently to try and get back to some golfing normality especially as the weather has been so stunning during lockdown."

In line with Government guidelines, from tomorrow, only two balls will be able to go out onto the course in a single game ­— whether from the same or separate households.

But the club hopes to allow four balls per game "as soon as practically possible".

Bury Times: Whitefield Golf ClubWhitefield Golf Club

The ongoing pandemic has unfortunately seen two members of Whitefield Golf Club undergo hospital treatment after contracting Covid-19.

The club says it is "extremely grateful to the NHS for the incredible treatment they received", and is allowing NHS workers with ID to be a guest on the course for a special rate of £10 a round.

New special membership rates have also been made available, and the club is offering socially-distanced lessons for beginners or improving golfers.

Anthony Harris, club president, said: "I am delighted to be able to sanction this discounted rate to our emergency services.

"Whitefield Golf Club is very much a family club and speaking on behalf of all the members we feel this is a small way to show you our gratitude for the way you have continued to work throughout this crisis, forsaking your own personal safety for the good of others.

"Unfortunately some of our members contracted the coronavirus but I am delighted to say they all pulled through, but this definitely would not have happened without the your outstanding help.

"We will be delighted to welcome you to the club."

During the lockdown the course has also proven a hotspot for dog walkers and people taking their daily exercise.

However, with the fairways reopening for play, people are being reminded to take care, be conscientious of golfers, and be aware of golf balls.

Mr Silver said: "There has been a tremendous number of non-golfing visitors to the course over the last few weeks, and many have remarked that they didn't realise that it was so beautiful.

"It is very important that any casual walkers take special care as the course can be very dangerous if you walk in the firing line of a golf ball ­— irrespective of whether it's a good or bad shot."

Whitefield Golf Club is open daily from 7am to sunset, and the office is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

For more information contact Mr Silver on 07973 258234 or visit whitefieldgolfclub.com.