EARLIER this month, when the government eased their lockdown measures by allowing activities like golf to be part of an individual’s unlimited exercise, clubs and members rejoiced.

Of course, certain restrictions like not touching flags or others' equipment have been enforced, but to have a hobby many people cherish back breeds a sense of normality.

Initially, players could only play against those from the same household, before England Golf rallied to allow partnering with one person outside of a household.

Bradford Union president, Simon Tabel, is pleased to see the sport back and says uptake has been higher than usual.

“It is very important for a lot of people,” he said.

“I think the frustration of not getting out in the fresh air and playing the sport they love must have been driving a lot of them crazy.

“Letting them get a bit of exercise, albeit with only one of their friends, has made a huge difference.

“Quite a lot of the golf courses seem to be booked from dawn until dusk so people can play.

“There are more people playing more rounds of golf this week than there was this time last summer. I have seen a renewed enthusiasm from people.

“Generally, the golf courses I have seen are in very good condition. It has been a perfect spring. The weather has been fantastic since we entered lockdown.

“I think people have appreciated what they have been missing. People have been genuinely excited about getting back to golf, albeit with some restrictions on what we can do.”

The financial impact on clubs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be underestimated though.

Last month, the Union refunded subscriptions from member clubs and competition fees paid for events that won’t take place.

Tabel hopes that money can help during these tough times.

He added: “Clubs will struggle in a number of ways at the moment.

“Firstly because clubhouses aren’t open. There is no revenue coming in from food and drink.

“The majority of clubs also won’t be allowing visitors to use their courses, so there won’t be any income coming in that way. The costs though are going to be similar to what they were last year.

“From a Bradford Union point of view, we have refunded the subs we get from members back to the golf clubs. For most clubs, it is only a few £100, but it may make a bit of a difference.”

Tabel became the Union’s president back in February and could not predict what was to come in his first few months in the role.

Despite his job suffering from a reduced schedule at present, he hopes that Bradford clubs can see a return to competitive play before the summer is out.

The Union chief said: “We had a full calendar of competition, both internally within the Bradford Union and externally with other unions in Yorkshire, most of which has been cancelled.

“There is not much presiding to do at this moment in time.

“It is unprecedented that the game has been shut down for such a long time.

“I have never seen anything like it and hope to never see anything like it again.

“I think clubs will start playing internal competitions fairly soon.

“I can’t see us playing many inter-club or open competitions for another couple of months.

“The best we can envisage is we will probably get a few Bradford Union competitions towards the end of the summer. Realistically, I am not expecting to get anything earlier than that.”