Grim’s Dyke Golf Club in Middlesex has ‘rolled its sleeves up’ during lockdown in more ways than one – by working with a local pharmacy to open the clubhouse as an NHS vaccination centre.
The private members’ club had no hesitation in saying yes when approached to act as a convenient community base for the vaccination roll-out.
Now Grim’s Dyke is welcoming folk from in and around Hatch End, Pinner and Wealdstone area and playing a valuable role in the fightback against Covid-19.
“We got approached by a local pharmacist who enquired if we would hire out the clubhouse,” admitted office administrator, Louise Glasgow.
“They set up four vaccination stations and launched it on 30 January.
“We were more than happy to help in these times and it’s helping us out as well.
“And when golf comes back it won’t interfere with the golf side of it. When the clubhouse reopens, we can still use one side of the building for access to the vaccine centre.
“A lot of members have volunteered and that’s also been good.
“Four of us who work for the golf club have also been doing shifts for the vaccine centre during furlough time.
“It’s really set-up well and the only thing we’ve lacked at times is a few patients, but they are really preparing for when the lower age brackets come in to be vaccinated.
“The weekends have been busy, though, with 150 people in on a Saturday and Sunday.
“There is capacity for 300 a day and its open seven days a week 8am to 8pm.”
For now, the government’s closure of courses in England has meant Grim’s Dyke’s 470 members have not been able to use the facility for golf.
But many old friends as well as new faces have been through the doors for jabs and the club is doing all it can to provide a warm welcome.
Louise added: “It is very well organised and the feedback from people who have been vaccinated has been really good. It’s flowed really, really well.”
Businesses in the community have also rallied round with a local baker, Wenzel’s, serving up pastries and sandwiches free of charge to the staff in the centre.
Adrian Frigot, club chairman, hopes those who have visited Grim’s Dyke for the first time in odd circumstances, may choose to return in the future for more sociable reasons.
He added: “Even if they are non-golfers they can look to rent the facility for a wedding or party or come for lunch or whatever in the future.”
Grim’s Dyke Golf Club was formed in 1910 with the present-day clubhouse constructed in 1936.
Hopefully, as a result of the vaccination programme, the 19th hole will soon welcome the return of golfers and the sound of laughter will once again fill the air.
For now, though, the club continues to act as a community hub with a difference and now has another interesting chapter to add to its proud and varied history.