'I'll not cross the border' - Why David Drysdale rules out going to England to play his club golf

David DrysdaleDavid Drysdale
David Drysdale
Drysdale believes Scottish golf courses will be soon opening again

European Tour player David Drysdale will not be making a secret trip across the border to be among the first golfers back on UK courses following a seven-week lockdown due to the coronavirus.

The 45-year-old lives near Cockburnspath, less than 20 miles from the border on the east coast, and is a member of Goswick Golf Club, which sits to the south of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

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Drysdale has been travelling to the English town to do his shopping since lockdown restrictions were introduced and would only be faced with a slightly longer journey to get to Goswick.

However, he has decided to resist the temptation to get straight back out on the golf course when English venues reopen tomorrow as Scottish courses remain closed for the time being.

“I’m a member at Goswick and have been for a long, long time,” Drysdale, who finished runner-up in the Qatar Masters, the final European Tour event before the circuit shut down due to the pandemic, told the Evening News.

“It takes about half an hour straight down the A1, which is pretty cool, but I won’t be tempted to go there for a game tomorrow or any day soon.

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“For starters, reading between the lines, I don’t think you would be able to leave Scotland to go and play golf in England.

“I go to Berwick for our shopping because it has got all the main supermarkets and it takes 20 minutes, maximum.

“But going into England just for a game of golf is different when getting this crisis sorted out is the most important thing.

“And, you know what, I can’t see Scotland being too far behind England when it comes to opening the golf courses.”

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It seems as though other Goswick members living on the north side of the border are taking the same view for the time being.

“We have quite a lot of members who live in Scotland,” said Paul Terras, the head pro at the Northumberland club, which has staged Open regional qualifying for a number of years.”We have members from Chirnside, Duns and we have a lot from the Galashiels area.

“One or two have contacted me since the reopening of courses was announced on Sunday, but they are quite concerned that if they travelled here they could end up with a hefty fine. I don’t know if they are going to risk or not.”

Terras, who has been at Goswick for close to 30 years after starting his PGA career at Dunbar, said he felt a mix of excitement and trepidation about the course reopening. “I am looking forward to seeing the members again,” he said. “But, at the same time, the pro shop side of things is another hurdle we have to get over and the club want me to police things.

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“At a lot of courses, the pro shop is the starter’s area. It is the hub where members come to get info.

“We will be running times from 7.30am to 6pm with eight-minute intervals. We were thinking about making it two nines to get more people out on the course, but the committee decided against that.

“We are going with members only for the first five days to gauge. We’ll see if they are going to take up the times available and, if not, we might open it up to some visitors next week.

“May is probably our busiest month and we’ve had to turn away so many visitors. The economy side of this pandemic is not good at all.”