Mask on – Mask off

By Robert Muir

It’s just some 7-kilometres between our two local championship golf courses in Yarrawonga and Mulwala but there are some contrasting golf scenarios and a big change in playing numbers due to the border closure and COVID-19 restrictions.

The majority of golfers who play the NSW Mulwala-located Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort course reside in Yarrawonga, and under the current restrictions imposed by the NSW State Government on July 8, are not allowed to cross the border to play golf. 

In line with Stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria, golf is allowed. Tougher, Stage 4 restrictions including no golf, apply in Melbourne.

As a result, numbers of golfers have increased substantially at the Yarrawonga-located Black Bull Golf Course at Silverwoods.

The usual quiet time at Black Bull is different for 2020. “Our numbers have been fantastic,” head professional James McCully told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“With Stage 3 this time we are actually open. Golfers are playing in twos and bookings are required.

“The course is holding up well. We have a fifty per cent green fee discount for Yarrawonga members. Anyone is welcome to come out and have a game.”

James said that like everyone, he is looking forward to getting through to the other side with the coronavirus pandemic. In the meantime, his message to those wanting a game of golf is: ‘Come out and enjoy the course, the fresh air and the exercise’. Bookings for golf are required on 5744 0044. 

In contrast, the number of golfers at the Mulwala-based Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort has plummeted. 

The club’s head professional Evan Droop said he can understand the overall situation in Melbourne with the tough COVID-19 restrictions but claims our local residents – the Yarrawonga golfers – are being victimized or penalized “when we haven’t got a COVID-19 case”.

“It doesn’t seem right. People can come from Sydney but our local club members can’t come across the border,” he said.

“Three weeks ago when the restrictions allowed ‘daily life’ it worked before the ‘daily life’ part was taken out of it. Some of our border residents in Yarrawonga live for golf. Most of our clientele is from Victoria, particularly in winter.

“Our course is in great shape. We just want the restrictions relaxed for common sense’s sake.”