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NHS frontline workers battling coronavirus to give free year memberships at The Suffolk Golf Club




The Suffolk Golf Club at Fornham St Genevieve is offering free membership for a year - worth £1,000 - to NHS frontline workers.

Director of golf Steve Hall said the idea for a ‘rainbow membership’, which is not limited to times or days, came from their members and was unanimously agreed.

There is a club in Scotland which has done a similar reward, but it is believed the club on the site of the All Saints Hotel is the only one in England to put in place such an initiative.

Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698342)
Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698342)

The registration day for the new membership is on Wednesday.

Hall explained: "It came about through conversations with members.

"During the lockdown I was regularly speaking to them on the phone and a couple of members came up with an idea for a free day during the week for NHS staff.

Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698340)
Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698340)

"The only problem with that was that it would depend on people's shifts as to whether they would get to take advantage of it.

"We continued talking about it and after looking into the capacity implications, decided to put it out to the membership whether they wanted to give away free memberships to the people who are having a hard time at the minute, to give them some relaxation away from it.

"Over a third of the membership replied within 24 hours saying what a great thing it was for us to be able to do. There was not one negative comment coming back to us."

The club's website shows that a seven-day membership is worth £795 annually with a £200 joining on free.

Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698354)
Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698354)

Anyone wishing to find out further information can email Steve and his team at: golf@allsaintshotel.com

Meanwhile, the club reopened to members only after a seven-week hiatus with new social distancing restriction measures on Wednesday. This included:

  • Members asked not turn up more than 10 minutes before their pre-booked tee times
  • Members asked to change their shoes at their cars
  • All players asked to check in at the Pro-Shop which is operating on a one-in-one-out policy
  • No trolley hire available and only pre-booked buggies for individuals with no sharing
  • Not touching the flags on the green
  • Not picking up anyone else's ball
  • Leaving the site within 10 minutes of players' final putts
Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698337)
Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698337)

Hall said their opening day yesterday had gone well with members observing the new measures, which only allow solo play or two-balls, well.

Unlike some other clubs, they have been able to allow members to play the full 18-hole round.

He said they are intending to bring back the option for non-members to take advantage of pay and play in the near future.

Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698321)
Members returned to action at The Suffolk Golf Club on Wednesday after the coronavirus sport lockdownPicture: Chris Boughton (34698321)

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