Different strokes for different folks

Nellan (right) and Oong playing golf in Subang while maintaining social distancing following the relaxation of movement control order. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

Reactions to the conditional movement control order (MCO) are varied from sector to sector. While some members of the public like golfers and exercise enthusiasts are eager to get back to their pre-MCO activities, others – particularly those in business – are taking cautious steps with the regulations in mind. StarMetro looks at what is happening in a few areas.

THE swinging good times are back for golfers in the Klang Valley.

Golf is among the contactless individual outdoor sports allowed to be played under the conditional movement control order effective from yesterday.

While some golf enthusiasts from other states will have to wait slightly longer to get back on the golf course as several states are not going along with the Federal Government’s move to ease conditions presently, there was joy written on the faces of players in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur and they could not wait to tee off.

Club professional golfer V. Nellan was among the first to take to the fairway and played a few rounds yesterday.

“I have been bored staying at home and I am finally enjoying the fresh air at a golf course again.

“I enjoyed testing the course this morning. The course is looking good generally, ” he said.

A regular golfer, Sushil Sidhu is equally excited to play again and looking forward to getting in a round on the greens.

“It is good to be able to get on the golf course again.

“Golf is a great game that not only keeps one in good physical condition but also provides the mental relaxation, which is all important in this period that all Malaysians are going through.

“But I hope that everyone remains vigilant and steadfast in this ‘new normal’ and together we can beat this epidemic, ” said Sushil.

Sushil last played golf before the movement control order started in March and cannot wait to get back to the sport now allowed under conditional MCO.Sushil last played golf before the movement control order started in March and cannot wait to get back to the sport now allowed under conditional MCO.

Saujana Golf & Country Club general manager SA. Nathan said club members were keen to just get back on the course.

“I have been getting phone calls non-stop.

“Bookings are full, with play commencing today and all slots have been taken up especially for weekends.

“We are allowing two players per flight and one buggy per player to maintain strict social distancing.

“There will be no caddies allowed for the meantime.

“As for food and beverage, only takeaways are allowed at our Golfers Terrace, ” he added.

Saujana Golf & Country Club sports executive Oong Kuok Sung said it was all systems go, with plenty of excitement in the air.

“We got the course ready. We tested the course by playing a few rounds and I believe that we are already there with greens rolling smoothly and fairways looking good, ” he said.

The club’s course superintendent Mohd Razip Dahalan was also in high spirits as he outlined the safety measures put in place.

“Temperature screenings will be done daily on employees at the club.

“Machinery and buggies will be sanitisied daily at various locations.

“The priority, of course, is on the greens, fairways and tee boxes. We are also making bunkers as grounds are under repair, ” he said.

“We are mowing and rolling the greens, as well as carrying out sand dusting.

“A lot of hard work is being done to restore the course. It involves manual labour, especially the removal of weeds on the fairways and mobilising our machine operators to mow the playing areas, ” added Razip.

For Seremban golfers Jasveer Singh and Teja Singh, they will have to wait a bit longer to play as the Negri Sembilan government is not allowing any sporting activities yet since some areas in the state are red zones due to the high number of positive Covid-19 cases.

“Indeed it is frustrating as we were already making plans to hit a few balls.

“But I fully agree with the state government which has chosen not to relax the rules.

“Safety is extremely important so I rather wait a while longer and play with a peace of mind, ” said Jasveer.

Avid golfer TC Goh, however, is sceptical of returning to the game so soon.

“The social distancing norm now has to be practised and things will not be the same for a while longer.

“I am practising my hits and swings at home.

“While I am eager to get back to the course, I prefer to be safe than sorry, so I will be patient and wait until I feel it is really safe, ” said the 48-year-old lawyer.

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