Coronavirus: Golfers rush to secure limited tee times for Level 3 return

On Tuesday morning, thousands of golfers are expected to return to fairways around New Zealand, when the country drops to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

As well as sea swimming and tennis, golf is permitted and clubs are reporting high demand for tee times.

The gates at Waitikiri Golf Course are ready to re-open, but with a first-in, first-served booking method, tee times have been in hot demand.

"Tomorrow, every slot - and most of them are just single individuals playing - have all been taken," says club president Rod Templeton.

The scenario has been replicated around New Zealand, as desperate golfers prepare to dust off the clubs and head back to the fairways.

Even the country's leading golfer, Ryan Fox, can't get a tee time at his local course. 

"I was a bit slow on the uptake and managed to miss out the first week," Fox has told Newshub. "But I've got one for next week."

With flags a no-go under Level 3 restrictions, new white plastic mounds will replace traditional holes.

"We've deemed that if you hit that, you've sunk it," Templeton confirms.

Putts won't be the only thing golfers can't sink under Level 3.

"There's that adage, isn't it, you wouldn't play without a 19th," he laughs.

While there may be no 19th hole for now, demand would suggest golfers are just happy to be able to get back on course.

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