Just over four months since they were last allowed to welcome members, golf courses flung their gates open again on Thursday as thousands took to the fairways once more.
Having shut down post-Christmas when Stormont increased lockdown restrictions to combat rising Covid-19 cases, a subsequent easing of those restrictions permitted golf to resume in Northern Ireland on Thursday and, while it wasn't a complete relaxation of the rules, that didn't stop tee times from being booked up days in advance.
While players were restricted to groups from only two households - meaning many were only allowed to play in pairs - and clubhouses remained closed, it was still a long-awaited day for many across the country as they dusted off clubs and took to the first tee once more.
"It's been great to see people again and see how excited they all are to meet their friends and have a bit of time together," said Stephen Hamill, PGA professional at Lisburn.
"I think a lot of people were apprehensive about how they were going to play but mostly everyone was excited to see their friends. Everyone looks happier, which is the main thing."
Some clubs marked the occasion with a ceremonial first tee shot, with Trevor Cummings, mayor of the Ards and North Down Council Borough, taking the first swing at Clandeboye.
Damian Mooney, who took over as PGA professional at Lough Erne Golf Resort in Co Fermanagh last October, was down early to see the first few groups tee off and admitted there were plenty of nerves rattling about among the players.
"Having had the lockdown since December, it was amazing. I was on the first tee at half seven and you could feel the excitement and the nervousness that everybody had, not knowing what to expect," he said.
"Some guys were hitting dream tee shots that they would have been hoping they'd hit when they arrived, and there were other lads who absolutely duffed it! And that's to be expected, they've had no outlet to hit a ball since lockdown."
Some clubs have allowed people to walk on their grounds for their permitted daily exercise - without golf clubs, of course - but, understandably, the feeling was it just wasn't the same.
"It's been a really tough few months for our members with the current situation, but we're very fortunate because they've been incredibly supportive of our club," said Paddy Dean, general manager of Malone.
"Although we've allowed members to walk their dogs and get their daily exercise on the course, when you see them with clubs on their backs and smiles on their faces, it makes all the difference.
"It was somewhat challenging having to restrict members to only playing in two households, especially with kids being off for Easter, but, at the same time, we're very thankful we're one of the first sports back.
"The members were happy and were enjoying a dry day and a bit of sunshine."
Of course, there were those who wondered why golf couldn't have returned sooner, with clubs in Scotland remaining open even in lockdown post-Christmas.
Damian was among those, questioning: "Apart from putting people on the road, where was the downside to golf? The mental health benefits are massive. You go out there, you get a couple of hours to see your mates, you have no stress and the benefits of getting out in the fresh air and being separated.
"I think golf never should have stopped. I can understand politicians wanting to keep people off the road and limit activity, but when it comes down to being outdoors and still being distanced, golf is one of the safest sports out there."
But while there may still be some lasting frustration, after a long wait, golf is indeed back, and now clubs can start to look ahead to the future again with plenty of optimism.
Paddy said: "At the end of the day, we need to look after the members initially, but hopefully down the line the restrictions will continue to ease and we can start welcoming back visitors, which would be amazing."
Stephen agreed, adding: "Now we're just looking forward to when people are able to get out in three and fourballs again in the next stage."