Golfers across the borough were keen to get back on the green yesterday as the borough’s golf clubs reopened.

Hundreds of people flocked the the town’s golf clubs to play their first round in eight weeks.

Despite the huge number of people ready to play, everyone was determined to follow the latest government guidance for playing the game during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Schofield, secretary at Harwood Golf Club, said: “It’s something that we’ve been looking forward to for the last eight weeks.

“Our first golfers got onto the course at 5.20 this morning and we were fully booked until seven o’clock, and it’s looking like that until well into the weekend.

“We’ve had very clear guidance from England Golf and Lancashire Golf about the way we need to play and changes that we needed to make.

“Golf is a game that can be played with social distancing measures in place and there was quite a bit of frustration that we couldn’t play, and all out members are very aware that they need to respect the guidance not just for our reputation but for the whole sport because the spotlight really is on them at the moment.”

The club can accommodate 160 golfers a day, with two golfers going out onto the green every ten minutes.

Only members are allowed to golf at each club under the new guidance, and the club has seen a huge surge in membership applications since reopening.

Mr Schofield added: “We’re only allowed to have social golfing at the moment, which means no competitions and no visitors, so it is members only.

“There have also been some changes, the bins on the green are closed and members can only come in, play golf, and then leave straight away.

“We’ve seen loads of new membership applications, and we’ve put some big discounts into place for new members because we appreciate that golf is one of the few sports being encouraged by the government at the moment.

“I’ve been in this chair for ten years and I’ve never been as busy as I have been over the last two or three days, it’s been incredibly busy.”

Dale Affleck, who runs the pro shop at the club, saw loads of visitors to the site yesterday, and praised everyone for following the government’s advice.

He said: “It’s been very busy but everybody has been doing their best to get it right and they’ve been really aware.

“People have been sitting in their cars until it’s their time to play and then heading off as soon as they’re finished.”