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Pitch & Putt club set to tee off after lockdown

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An aerial shot of the stunning grounds at Tralee Pitch & Putt Club in Oakpark, Tralee. Photo by Dominick Walsh

An aerial shot of the stunning grounds at Tralee Pitch & Putt Club in Oakpark, Tralee. Photo by Dominick Walsh

An aerial shot of the stunning grounds at Tralee Pitch & Putt Club in Oakpark, Tralee. Photo by Dominick Walsh

Members of one of Tralee's best sporting amenities are excited at the prospect of teeing off again after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Tralee Pitch & Putt Club has attracted players from all over Kerry and beyond since the late 1970s, yet it remains one of Tralee's best-kept secrets as a place for adults and children to enjoy a niche sport, played in splendid surrounds at the club's grounds in Killeen, Oakpark.

After much work and preparation, the course has now reopened and the message is a simple one: come out an play pitch & putt this summer.

People experiencing 'cabin fever' over the last few months won't need telling that pitch & putt is an ideal pastime in the current environment; it's outdoors, non-contact, and suitable for social distancing.

"It's all about people playing the game, and we're looking for new members to come and play what is a great game," said Tralee Pitch & Putt Club Secretary Tim McMahon.

Tralee Pitch & Putt Club is situated conveniently within Tralee town, whereas many of the county's golf clubs are located beyond the 5km travel distance (from Tralee) permitted under the COVID-19 law.

The club plans to impose strict protocols, with the use of hand sanitizer before and after play, while restricting groups to a maximum of two people.

Players will also be prevented from touching common contact points on the course, such as flag-sticks and bunker rakes.

"We would really like to see the people of Tralee coming back and using this facility. As we're among some of the first sporting organisations to be allowed reopen, it's a great opportunity for people in the town to get outdoors and take up the sport," Tim added.

To begin with, the club is open to members only - new and existing. However, later this summer, once the restrictions are eased, the club hopes to resume its successful green fees option for visitors.

Moreover, the lockdown has provided the club with an opportunity to carry out essential work on the course, with some members stating its condition is the best it's been in recent years.

"We've put a lot of work into it, and it's been great to have had something so productive to do. The course has never looked so good, and the members were very keen to get the work done, it's all been good," Tim said.

"We're delighted to get started again and back meeting people. The club provides an opportunity to meet again, especially as we've all been cooped up these past few weeks.

"We've been given the go ahead and we're looking forward to it," Tim said.

All new memberships will last to March 2021. Adults can join up for €90, and students and the active retired can join for €80. A parent and child can join up for €100, and two parents and two children can join for €180.

For now, the club feels that the course will be safer, with a common group of members playing the course over a wide range of green fees.

Email traleepitchandputtclub@gmail.com or follow the club's Facebook page for more.

Kerryman