KEIGHLEY Golf Club’s Simon Tabel is the Bradford & District Union president for 2020, but there can’t be many who have had a start to their tenure like this.

Tabel took over on February 26 and, after a couple of weeks of promising progress on the junior tournament front, the coronavirus pandemic muscled in to cause chaos to sport across the country.

Golf clubs and courses in England officially closed on Monday but Keighley did host a tournament on Saturday, with Tabel confirming precautions were taken.

He said: “We had a team competition on Saturday and I think around 30 teams played.

“But we said anyone that had symptoms, who should be self-isolating, mustn’t play and if they did come along, they would be removed from the course.”

He added: “It was just about keeping a sensible distance. We issued an instruction to leave flags in, and there were no rakes for the bunkers either, just so we were not touching any hard surfaces and were avoiding transmission.

“The hole cups were upside down so we didn't have to touch the inside of the holes either.”

Tabel, who said every day since he took over has been “chaotic”, confirmed that all Bradford Union events have been cancelled until the end of April, which includes the rest of the Winter Alliance season.

Some junior tournaments were due to take place over Easter too, although they have only officially been postponed for now.

Tabel said: “We started the year with good intentions of growing junior golf and having more competitions for them, as they (youngsters) will be the lifeblood of golf in this area in the future.

“We hope some plans for this sector will come to fruition, but they may be pushed back to 2021.

“We have a strong men’s scratch team for the Yorkshire Inter-District Union competition too, and we think we’ve got a good chance of winning the league this year.

“So we hope to be playing again by the end of May, which is when that is due to get underway.”

The uncertainty of what lies ahead is a far cry from the thrill of last September, when Tabel got the chance to play at the iconic Belfry in the final of the Srixon Europe Amateur Championship.

Looking back fondly, he said: “It was a tremendous day, even if my golf itself wasn’t up to the standard that I’d have wanted.

“But getting to play with 20 top professionals and amateurs from all over the country was great.

“I thought Srixon did a fantastic job and it was a lovely touch to get a nice message from Shane Lowry, the reigning Open champion, on the day too.”