Golf is now permitted under the UK lockdown guidelines, but golfers should follow some simple steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has issued guidance on its website on how golf clubs should operate to allow members to enjoy the game whilst observing the safety guidelines.
Golfers will be required to comply with the rules on social distancing.
While clubhouses remain closed for the time being, pro-shops in England will re-open for retail services from June 15.
As time moves on and government guidelines and advice change, the PGA will adapt these steps accordingly.
Before the Round
- Clubs to organise a system of booking and allocation of tee times that ensures the safety of staff and golfers.
- The maximum number of golfers in a group per tee time to be confirmed by the club and must be in accordance with any government requirements.
- There is to be a minimum of 10 minute intervals between tee times, but longer intervals may be more appropriate depending on the club.
Arrival and waiting to play
- The clubhouse and locker room facilities will be closed. Limited essential access (for example to use the toilets) may be allowed by the club.
- Clubs to communicate in advance with golfers to advise on social distancing requirements that are being applied on arrival at the club, for example not leaving cars until a certain time before their tee time.
- Clubs to have procedures in place to ensure social distancing requirements in the area of the professional’s shop or starter’s building in advance of golfers teeing off.
- No trolleys, carts or other items to be available for hire unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.
- Clubs to have procedures in place for the practice putting green, for example giving priority of use to the players in the next group due to tee off.
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During the round
- Guidance and reminders should be provided by clubs to golfers is to ensure that they keep at least two metres apart during the round.
- Golfers to keep two metres apart at teeing areas due the normal close proximity of golfers to one another when tee shots are being played.
- Golfers to stay more than two metres apart when walking to the ball, searching for a ball and playing shots.
- Golfers not to touch stray balls.
- With no rakes allowed on the course, golfers to make their very best efforts to smooth the sand using their club and/or their feet.
- Golfers to keep two metres apart on the putting greens and not to touch the flagstick.
After the round
- Social distancing is as important after a round as it is during the round, so when the round is over golfers must leave the course and the club immediately so that there are no gatherings around the clubhouse area.
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