The golf courses and the tennis courts throughout Fermanagh and the surrounding area are seeing their first action of 2021 today (Thursday) after restrictions were lifted and they were allowed to re-open in line with current guidelines and protocols.

Golf and tennis players have been waiting patiently for the greenlight to get back since the announcement was made while the clubs have put the final touches to their preparations for the return.

At Castle Hume/ Lough Erne Resort, Golf Operations Manager Barry McCauley says that they have been working hard to ensure they were ready for the re-opening.

“We are ready to go. Obviously, with the two courses, the greenkeeping team have been working hard to make sure that they are maintained and we are expecting it to be busy. Both timesheets for the two courses are pretty full and the weekend will be busy, especially with the holiday.

“I think everybody is looking forward to getting out and having been out of golf for three months there could be a high demand for golf balls!”

And he stresses that they have all the protocols in place for the return.

“Like the re-opening the first time around, Golf Ireland have circulated the protocols and we have everything set up in line with it and will stick tightly to that.

“I think the fact that golf has not yet re-opened in the south means that Golf Ireland will be keeping an eye on how we are managing things up here. It is strictly members only until the next review,” added McCauley.

Enniskillen Tennis are also set to throw open their gates and welcome back their members to the courts.

Since the announcement, there has been a great flurry of activity at the club.

“It started with oiling rusty locks that hadn’t been opened in so long. Then began a comprehensive grounds cleaning and maintenance effort.

With the courts in pristine playing condition, the focus shifted to making sure the return to tennis is going to be a safe one for everyone,” said Head Coach Matthew McGann.

Some of the measures in place at Enniskillen Tennis Club include the clubhouse remaining closed in the initial stages. So players will arrive at the club ready to play and no shower till they get home.

In these early steps, singles play is allowed but doubles play is only permitted if your partner is from the same household.

There are many signs and directions around the club to ensure everyone can remain a safe distance from each other.

The club has a user friendly booking system that allows members to remotely book their court for play. This allows for complete contact tracing records.

Despite all of these restrictions the club committee have gone to great lengths to communicate with members and make the process of playing at the club as easy and seamless as possible. The court bookings are already brisk for the reopening and there is great excitement to get out and exercise in a safe environment.