Golf courses can remain open; Clubs close bars and restaurants; More clubs offering free golf; War on coronavirus update

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 21, 2020 11:27

Golf courses can remain open for now but clubs have closed their bars and restaurants following the latest UK government initiative in the war on COVID-19.

Arscott Golf Club in Shrewsbury, for example, posted this update on its website on Friday evening (March 20):

‘The prime minister today ordered all cafes, pubs, restaurants, gyms and similar venues across the UK to close from this evening for the foreseeable future. This obviously affects our operation at Arscott Golf club and we are closing the bar and restaurant [clubhouse] until further notice.

‘The pro will be available but there will be no entry to the shop. No cash will be taken, please use debit or credit card for all purposes.

‘Please come and play golf and encourage visitors to play. We will keep the course open for as long as allowed. The measures we have put into place for members and visitors will allow us to carry on if we all adhere to them. We are carrying out a strict disinfectant programme in locker rooms and toilets.

‘Please use the car park to change shoes. When putting, flag sticks to be left in, we have raised cups so balls will not go in to the hole to save further contact. Bunker rakes have been removed and ball washers are not to be used. Mark your own cards and stay at least two metres apart whilst playing. Do not share equipment, do not shake hands after your round. Wash hands for 20 seconds after your round.

‘This weekend’s competition is cancelled – we suggest players enjoy social golf until further notice. Anyone who feels they have any symptoms – please stay away from the club.’

Meanwhile, more clubs are offering free golf to help out during this period of national emergency.

Prestonfield Golf Club in Scotland is offering free golf to visitors until the end of the month.

The Edinburgh club’s director of golf, Scott Clark told Bunkered: “Many people are looking for ways to keep exercising at the same time as following government guidelines regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

“As a golf club at the heart of our community, we would like to offer visitors and members’ guests to Prestonfield Golf Club the opportunity to play our great course free of charge up until 31st March 2020.

“We have taken an innovative approach of raising the hole cups above ground, so you don’t have to retrieve your ball out of the hole or touch the flag stick. If the ball strikes the cup it counts as if you have holed the put. This provides an added measure for your safety.

“Hopefully, this will add to your physical and mental wellbeing at this difficult time.”

There have also been reports of several other golf clubs either offering significantly reduced rates for the public or benefits to NHS staff.For example, Swansea Bay Golf Club has said all key workers are entitled to one free round of golf at the club, tagging Welsh Government Education and South Wales Police, along with the NHS.

UPDATE: All UK golf clubs have now been told to close with immediate effect.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 21, 2020 11:27
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  1. Lee March 22, 23:54

    The one sport that should still be ok , we still need exercise but safe , we need to socialise but safe and as long as everything is adhered to , sun and fresh air can’t be a bad thing eh ?⛳️⛳️

    Reply to this comment
  2. Daniel March 22, 20:49

    My heart says stay open but for the greater good may be close – Staff and members congregating after play will need to change, golf is a sociable sport but for now needs to encourage social distancing

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  3. Peter March 21, 17:33

    Bad decision ! The damage one infected person in a foursome can do is staggering ! We have a disconnect in the industry, because the game is played outside does’t make it safer ! Some might not show symptoms but pass along the virus which will reach others, family etc. in short order ! Until communities know their rate of spread, through testing, and see a steady decline in cases…clubs should remain closed !!!

    Reply to this comment
  4. John March 21, 13:46

    Take the rake away and make bunkers GUR (free drop) and don’t touch the flag or anything else for that matter apart from your kit and your ball. Wash your hands when you finish and go straight home. #staysafe

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