It was just by chance that I glanced at my phone. I had an email from my golf club saying the booking system had opened. Fantastic. It had been a massive 30 minutes since the email was sent, so fearing a panicky rush to book tee times, I panicked and rushed to book for Monday 29th March. That was the easy bit. I now need to put in the time and effort to get golf fit again.

As I write, Scottish courses have been open throughout the most recent lockdown. Welsh courses will reopen on Saturday 13th March. English courses reopen on March 29th and no news yet about Northern Ireland.

Swing training

I have to say that my brother, Neil, is way ahead of me. He bought a swing training device that has a bright red weighted ball on the end of a whippy stick. It’s a bit like one of those ball launchers for making your dog run away in the general direction of the swing path – except that this device leaves your dog wondering where the ball went. Let’s hope that same thought doesn’t occur too often on the course this spring. Best to leave the dog at home.

Golf unfit

Despite my best intentions, since the January 4th English golf lockdown, I’ve done the square root of zero to get golf fit. I’ve just been so busy with our PuttBANDIT business and working with Neil to get our online shop open for business. But at least we are working, unlike many who’d love to but can’t. However, now the time is coming to get fit, break into a sweat – or at least a glow – maybe a slight raise in pulse – but no need to overdo it just yet.

Making a comeback – Round 1

It’s going to be interesting to see how my first round goes after a 3-month break. On previous long pauses from playing golf I’ve started my comeback with a surprisingly low-scoring round. I have no idea why. Perhaps it’s all in the mind: just being happy to be back playing again in the great outdoors without any unrealistic expectations. Let’s see what happens. In any event, I’ll publish my card and make it official. Although I reserve the right to make up plausible explanations for any high-scoring holes. No matter what the performance, I just can’t wait to play golf again. I have really missed the game, the mental challenge, the physical exercise and the fresh air. Fingers crossed for that happy day.

Hoping you play well – and soon

Let us know how your first game went after a lockdown break. Email your golf experiences to and we’ll mention some of the best in our monthly newsletter.

Paul Hart is a founding director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT Ball Marker and enthusiastic improver. Paul currently has a handicap index of 10.7. Let’s see how fast that rises after a lockdown break.