OAKE Manor Golf Club opened on Wednesday, May 13, after being closed for about seven weeks due to the government's Covid-19 restrictions.

As things stand, only the golf course is now open - not the clubhouse, pro shop or practice facilities.

Players can play on their own, or as a two ball or larger group if from the same household.

Players must arrive no more than 15 minutes before their tee time (which must be booked with the pro shop), change their shoes in the car park and observe a one-way system to the first tee.

Demand for tee times have outstripped supply, even though the club has extended the tee times to start at 6.30am at weekends and 7am during the week - every tee time on every day is fully booked.

The golf course is in excellent condition due to the hard work of course manager James Williams and his team during lockdown, very much appreciated by the members now they are back playing.

On the first day the course opened, Paul Rich celebrated with a hole in one on the 14th hole.

From Monday, June 1, golfers can play in fours providing they maintain social distancing, which should help the pressure on tee times.


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AFTER completing her first round of golf at Vivary since the start of lockdown, ladies captain Ange Tinnion (pictured above) said the course was in immaculate condition considering the rain deluge at the start of the year and the desert conditions of the past two months’ coronavirus lockdown.

She praised head greenkeeper Mark Newman for performing a Herculean task in caring for the fairways and greens during the enforced closure, and thanked the volunteers among the members that helped him.

Only the bunkers had been abandoned, but they were now being brought back up to standard by Newman’s re-employed team.

Eddie Cullen, the club chairman and catering manager, said that members and players were keeping strictly to the safety procedures set up and, although the clubhouse was not open, he and his team had been providing free meals during lockdown to the community through the Coronavirus Help Taunton group.

On May 7, his gang of military veterans served more than 400 free barbecue meals to the staff at Musgrove Park Hospital.

“With no-one on the course we had to do something to keep busy and stop the kitchen lying idle,” Cullen said.

“It’s good to see streams of players coming in to play the game again.”

Seniors captain Colin Woodford believes that, although the outings and the friendly matches with other clubs have been cancelled, members are increasingly positive about the rest of the season.