16th Mar 2021 @ 10:30 pm

Paul Kelly reports on how Lanzarote golfers are coping with Covid, and how the greens are greener and the fairways fairer after the rains.

First published in Gazette Life, March 1st 2021.

Despite the more stringent Level 4 Covid restrictions we lived with during most of February, the sensible and sensitive implementation of the distancing regulations by the dedicated staff at Costa Teguise Golf Club means that we have been fortunate in being able to continue playing golf on the island, when pretty much all golfing activity elsewhere in Northern Europe has been closed.

Yes, there have been a few adaptations we have had to make, such as no handling the flagstick, and those of us who travel on a golf buggy must now do so alone, but the Las Palmeras Golf Society has continued to fulfil its bi-weekly Tuesday and Friday competitions without interruption.

We even had the unusual sight of some players arriving on the first tee in very non-Lanzarotean golfing wet gear, an ineffective if sensible precaution as it turned out, as on two occasions during the month, many of us ended up returning to the clubhouse drenched to the skin, and even those who had the foresight to start ‘prepared’ were not immune from the short but torrential downpours!

The February rain, however, has been welcome for the health of the golf course because of the unavailability of “black water” for course irrigation (much of this originates from Costa Teguise hotels, which are currently closed), which has resulted in many bare patches on the course. The greens staff used the “winter” weather to busily reseed and green grass shoots soon reappeared, but without the more regular irrigation it’s a difficult ask to get the fairways back to their usual healthy state.

Off the fairways the rough, which is normally either picón or more punishingly, a stony landscape, is now a verdant sea of green “cabbage” and wild flowers gobbling up lost golf balls that will provide a harvest of finds in the coming months and which has put demands on accuracy of shotmaking. As has been suggested, golf balls are like eggs: they’re white; they are sold by the dozen, and currently you need to buy fresh ones each week! Back on the course and obviously finding the fairways, leading the way in February in our 12-event Henson Cup monthly qualifier competition was Stephen Hay, who returned a very commendable net 71 followed closely by Tim Weston with a net 73.

If you would like to join us as a visitor, you are most welcome any Tuesday or Friday with our first tee time at 9.30. Please just let us know 24 hours in advance, as we draw all players in groups of 3 or 4 ladies and gents in advance, by emailing to lpgs2016@gmail.com. Or if you would like to join the society you can get more information about our activities on our website at: www.laspalmerasgolfsociety.blogspot.com. The Costa Teguise Golf Club also has some excellent bulk green fees special offers just now, available when you enquire in the golf shop.

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