We don't need to give people more sticks with which to beat golf. So talk of players still not happy despite courses getting the go ahead to reopen must stop

What’s that old saying? Patience is a virtue. You may need to show some for just a little bit longer.

Golf clubs in England can re-open on Wednesday – on Government authority no less – so how many of you had a little peek at online booking this morning or thought about getting on the phone?

It’s only natural. You’re like a kid at Christmas and that present under the tree is tantalisingly within reach.

If you noticed, though, there weren’t too many clubs racing to unlock their tee sheets.

Yes, we’ve got the green light but there’s still work to do.

For a start, what’s it going to look like in practice? There are guidelines in place, of course, issued by governing bodies before the possibility of golf’s return was a word on Boris Johnson’s autocue.

But now that advice needs to become a set of regulations – rules that every club in the land can take and implement.

Just because your club can open doesn’t necessarily mean it will. It’s up to individual clubs to decide when play begins again.

If that’s causing frustration, then bite your lip. They may need to put measures in place that will ensure your safety.

Surely it’s better to take the time and get that right? Even if that means the golf clubs have to stay in the boot for another couple of days.

If yours is one of those that’s lucky to reopen, temper your expectations and give your greenkeepers a break.

Some of you are about to find out that essential maintenance was exactly that. What you see on Twitter, and what you might find on the ground, could be two different things. It may not look, or play, the same for a while.

And don’t flout the rules. You might think not being able to play with all your mates is stupid but, until we’re told otherwise, it’s the way it is.

The number of people I’ve already heard conniving to break them – “We’ll just meet up on the 3rd and play together” – is concerning.

We all need to work together to make this a success. The eyes of the rest of the UK will be on us to make sure we toe the line.

Let’s not give people another stick with which to beat our sport. Let’s take advantage of the opportunity we’ve been given and get out there and enjoy our golf once more – despite the restrictions and limitations. Let’s just be patient.

Golf courses reopen: Essential reading

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Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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