GOLFERS who find themselves trolling marram grass at Port Fairy for lost balls can breathe a sigh of relief.
The seaside course used its coronavirus-enforced shutdown to burn-off the pesky obstacle between fairways.
Club professional Anthony Warburton joked the maintenance might "help speed up play a bit too".
But he warned players would need to make the most of the easier conditions.
"It comes back thicker after you burn it," Warburton said.
"You can see a few shoots here and there (already) but it will probably come back in growing season, so you're looking at October or November."
Warburton said volunteers helped find thousands of balls in the grass, worth anywhere between $1000 and $5000.
The main parts around the course hadn't been burnt and cleared back for "about a dozen years".
He said the COVID-19 break, which started in late March and finished last Wednesday, "made it easier to do it".
"We had a bit of time to pick up the golf balls as well," Warburton said.
"We had some volunteers, some retired guys, come out on Friday.
"We picked up a lot to begin with but with the rain, it washed a few out and more golf balls came popping up."
Warburton said competitions were filling up quickly, with this Saturday already booked out. But he expects more spaces to open up in coming weeks.
"We'll have eight-minute (tee-off) intervals instead of 10 soon so we can get an extra 30 people in competitions," he said.
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