A GOLF-loving father and son hope a purpose-built backyard complex can fine-tune their game in the sport's coronavirus-enforced hiatus.
Warrnambool pair Paul and Lachie Walker built the complex - which features a putting green and hitting cage - before winter set in last year.
They're starting to reap the rewards.
Paul, a scratch golfer who finished third in the Warrnambool Golf Club Championships in March, said Lachie had reduced his handicap from 31 to 14.4 in just over a year.
I can play golf, if I'm healthy, until I'm 80.Lachie Walker
"It's been so good for Lachie. We can go out there and fine-tune a few things," Paul said.
"Normally I'd pick Lachie up from school and we'd go down to the course and hit balls or play holes.
"Now we can do that (due to COVID-19 restrictions) we have to stay here and hit balls. We're lucky we have this setup."
Lachie discovered a love for golf "about 14 months ago".
The 14-year-old, who is coached by Warrnambool professional Craig Bonney, has shelved other sports to pursue improvement in the sport.
"It's been good to play with dad a bit," Lachie said.
"We didn't play together in the club championships - we decided to focus on our own game. But we have played together on Saturdays.
"It's good to have a dad that takes a lot of interest in it."
Paul - who quit golf temporarily when Lachie was born and spent more than a decade prioritising cricket - is relishing the chance to hit the course each weekend.
"It's fantastic, just to get out there and muck around together. I really enjoy just seeing Lachie's development," he told The Standard.
"I got more of a buzz out of seeing Lachie finish in the club championships than I did from my own result.
"I've been playing a long time but seeing the enjoyment and the buzz he gets from working with Craig is great.
"He'll get something to work on and we can come back here and work on that while it's fresh in the mind.
"I'm lucky Lachie found the passion for golf and in turn, I found it again too."
Lachie has no regrets of his decision to put golf first.
"When you play footy and cricket and stuff and go play another sport, it helps your body a bit," he said.
"I can play golf, if I'm healthy, until I'm 80.
"Whereas with footy, you can probably play until you're maximum mid-40s."
The duo are disappointed not to be on the course, but understand the move.
All south-west clubs followed Golf Australia advice last week and closed their doors until at least April 13 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "The golf course will still be there in six months and there'll be a time we can utilise it again," Paul said.
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