‘Golf clubs in Wales can reopen in mid May if there is a lockdown relaxation on May 7’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 27, 2020 10:12

The golf industry in Wales has been given an advanced notification that courses can reopen from mid May provided certain rules are followed, if there is a relaxation of the lockdown on May 7, according to the Daily Mail.

The paper states that it is likely that the guidance will apply to the whole of the UK and not just Wales, and that more information will be coming in the next few days.

The rules that must be followed include a strict adherence to social distancing.

Wales Golf has made it clear, however, that ‘nothing has been agreed’.

The article in the Daily Mail states that ‘golf clubs in Wales will be allowed to reopen next month if there is a relaxation of the lockdown on May 7.

‘Clubs in Wales have been told there is a realistic prospect of being allowed to reopen by the middle of May, albeit with a stringent list of conditions.

Welsh golfer Sahra Hassan. Image by Tristan Jones

‘Advance notice has been given, to allow clubs in Wales to prepare for what will be a radically different version of club life. But the fact there is cause for optimism will provide a massive boost in itself to the tens of thousands of golfers for whom playing the game is an integral part of their existence.’

Only social golf will be allowed, and in no more than two-balls. Bookings will need to be made online and at least a 10-minute gap will be required between tee times. It is likely that clubhouses will remain closed, apart from the use of bathroom facilities.

All this remains contingent on the government deciding it is on top of the Covid-19 pandemic sufficiently to move to the next phase.

The article doesn’t state who has given the guidance, or even who to, and according to the chief executive of Wales Golf, Richard Dixon, nothing has been agreed so far.

“Nothing has either been agreed or announced regarding a date golf can re-start in Wales or the protocols which will need to be strictly adhered to once it does,” he said in a statement.

“Wales Golf’s position remains consistent with when the current restrictions were put in place in that it is fully supportive of the current government directives / advice. We will continue to work closely with the R&A, other GB&I golf bodies and relevant government departments in developing and agreeing the necessary protocols to help ensure that golf is as ready as it can be to re-start when it is deemed safe to do so by the appropriate authorities.”

It does, however, follow a trend in recent days, including most recently featuring the UK’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, who has said he is looking at data on whether golf courses can reopen in the first wave of the easing of lockdown restrictions. Less than a week before the full lockdown was implemented, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said golf was an allowable activity provided golfers socially distance. Since then, a world expert on viral diseases has singled out golf as a game that can be played in the current environment, and golf courses around the world, including even in New York, have reopened. Various products have also been launched in the UK in April to ensure the game can be played with golfers sticking to social distancing rules, such as flags that do not need to be touched by hands and rakes that can be used to sweep bunkers without different people touching them.

In England, its governing body England Golf is waiting for the official green light. Jeremy Tomlinson, chief executive of England Golf, has prepared a guidance pamphlet called Play Safe, Stay Safe that will be issued to all clubs once the go-ahead is given.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 27, 2020 10:12
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10 Comments

  1. Simon April 28, 10:43

    Wales next… it’s coming home!

    #golf #golfcourses #wellbeing #socialsistancing

    Reply to this comment
  2. Gareth April 28, 09:12

    This and the article in the Daily Mail has NO validity, no letter has been received by the golf clubs or sent by the governing body in Wales, Golf Wales and the welsh golf union have posted a twitter statement to this effect

    Reply to this comment
  3. Gareth April 28, 09:12

    This and the article in the Daily Mail has NO validity, no letter has been received by the golf clubs or sent by the governing body in Wales, Golf Wales and the welsh golf union have posted a twitter statement to this effect

    Reply to this comment
  4. Gareth April 28, 09:11

    This and the article in the Daily Mail has NO validity, no letter has been received by the golf clubs or sent by the governing body in Wales, Golf Wales and the welsh golf union have posted a twitter statement to this effect

    Reply to this comment
  5. Gareth April 28, 09:11

    This and the article in the Daily Mail has NO validity, no letter has been received by the golf clubs or sent by the governing body in Wales, Golf Wales and the welsh golf union have posted a twitter statement to this effect

    Reply to this comment
  6. Seve April 28, 07:18

    Rumours are for dumplings

    Reply to this comment
  7. neil April 27, 11:53

    Dear England Golf

    We (the golf clubs/courses), need from you (EG), ASAP, an acceptable Suggested guideline of measures that EG recommend is sufficient for us to safely open to the public and members.

    We can then approach our local authorities and say “Our golf facility meets the criteria for opening as recommended by our governing lead body please give us your approval to open”

    In that way we can face the protests (and they will come from all over) and say our facility meets all the current recommendations for safe exercise and playing of golf.

    From our experience I would humbly suggests something on these lines.

    The facility should make it known by whatever means possible (Website,email to members ,Carpark signs) the use of the golf course is by prior booking only to singleton players or two balls playing with another household member and play must start at set intervals and players should arrive/ remain in their cars reporting to the starter ready to play 5 mins max before tee off.
    After play players should inform the starter they have left the course and not socialise with anyone else before leaving.
    Green fes wil probably need to be adjusted to make the operation vialbe. and these changes notified at the same time.

    No buggies or hired trollies to be used.
    Ball washers covered over with poly bags.

    Repeater reminder signs at regular spacing “Kep your distance” If you hold up anyone immediately pick up and walk to the next hole.

    All benches to be turned upside down or removed.

    Mask usage? Probably not compulsory.
    Flags not to be touched and holes blanked off.

    Clubhouse :
    The starter should be physically isolated from the golfers by a hatchway/window or door with limited access. Any payment should be prearranged or by card or the exact amount of money. The starter should have facilities to sterilise any such payment.
    Clubhouse facilities should be should be closed except for access to toilets taking as short a route as possible. The toilets should have sterilising materials (both personal and surface available) These could be ,for example, sufficient containers /buckets with containing bleach solution and cloths, notices advising users to wipe down any surface they have touched before leaving.

    Club house issued Scorecards or pencils should not be used or offered. Any score recording/reporting should be using the players own facilities and reported to committee by phone or email.

    The greens and ,flags and golf holes should be set up to avoid ball having to be retrieved from the hole.

    GREENSTAFF should be briefed on these measures so they can remind golfers if they stray from guidelines.

    Our course’s suggestions are not exhaustive Im sure there are other good tips out there -you get vthe idea!

    I’m sure you get the gist. This would help everyone immensely to be able to spring into action safely when the moment comes.

    Reply to this comment
    • Swing slow April 27, 19:38

      Your proposals are spot on I would go further and say this is the time for golf clubs to modernise and reduce costs I would not allow green fees MEMBERS ONLY join a club or stop playing I would cease retainers to golf pros let them rent the facilities if they want to teach. Put the club house out to tender and get rid of all the club admin posts. We only need a good playing area 2/3green staff everything else members do on voluntary basis it would increase membership reduce fees by at least 60% a.d secure the future of golf

      Reply to this comment
  8. CMMD April 27, 10:47

    The fact there is no name or source to this and a vague comment from Oliver Dowden makes this article really pointless?

    Reply to this comment
    • Gareth April 28, 09:13

      This and the article in the Daily Mail has NO validity, no letter has been received by the golf clubs or sent by the governing body in Wales, Golf Wales and the welsh golf union have posted a twitter statement to this effect

      Reply to this comment
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