Golf courses can reopen in France from May 11

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2020 05:57

The golfing union of France, Fédération Française de Golf (FFG) has announced that golf courses can reopen from May 11, while golf courses are set to reopen in Portugal on May 4.

The death rate from coronavirus in France has been very similar to the UK’s for several weeks, although the UK’s death toll overtook France’s this week.

According to Connexion France, French prime minister Edouard Philippe has stated that people ‘will be able to do individual sports’. FFG responded by issuing a statement saying it believes golf clubs will be able to open from May 11.

‘They will have to respect health barrier regulations but will be able to go further than the present imposed 1km radius from their home,’ states the website.

FFG adds that it is not yet clear what regulations French golf clubs will have to follow, but should have this information soon.

‘Its members are now in contact with the authorities to work out exactly what measures golf clubs must put in place to be able to open,’ states the website.

“We will have to be patient for a few days more before we will be able to play golf again,” added a spokesman for FFG.

Meanwhile, Miguel Franco de Sousa, president of the Portuguese Golf Federation, has told The Golf Business that courses in that country are set to open on May 4.

“Today (April 30) the government will most likely announce its decision of reopening golf courses in Portugal on Monday, May 4,” he said.

“The Portuguese Golf Federation sent a document to the Secretary of a State for Youth and Sports outlining the major guidelines to assure health and safety for players and staff.

“We have been working very closely with the Secretary of State who has tremendously supportive and cooperative with the Portuguese Golf Federation.”

According to reports, the Portuguese government has created a plan to reopen the economy in three stages: May 4, May 18 and June 1. Golf is among the activities and businesses that will be allowed to open up again on May 4.

Golf courses have been reopening all over the world in the last few days, with a US poll finding that 60 per cent of American golf courses are now open, a figure that is expected to rise to 75 per cent by mid May.

In Livingston County, in Michigan, golf courses reopened on April 24, and according to Livingston Daily, business has been ‘brisk’ since.

“We heard about it at 10 o’clock on the radio,” said Jim Ottinger, owner at Hawk Meadows Golf Club. “I opened at 10:02. By 1 o’clock, we were pretty busy. I think guys must’ve been sitting in their houses with their golf clubs waiting to go.

“It’s fun. We’ve got human beings coming out here and enjoying the fresh air, getting away from coronaville. You can take a walk in your neighborhood and think about everything that’s going on, but on the golf course you think about why I shanked it in the woods.”

“We just bought a new state-of-the-art point-of-sale system,” said Bill Fountain, operating partner of The Majestic Golf Club. “We’re not doing any cash. Everybody can make tee times online. When they come in, they pop their head in the door, say, ‘I’m with the Smith foursome’ and we go, ‘Thanks for coming,’ and they walk right out to the tee. It’s very convenient. We do have our bathrooms open inside the clubhouse; we’re sanitising them.”

This week most venues in New Zealand reopened, with clubhouses closed, and no flags in holes or rakes in bunkers. Reports suggest that golf venues have nonetheless been very busy.

While in Dubai, all golf clubs are also now allowed to reopen.

Golfers must pre-book their rounds and wear masks upon arrival, where they will be given a temperature check. Tee times have been extended to 15-minute intervals, with a maximum of three players per slot. Buggies can only carry one person at a time. Other restrictions include the use of raised cups and the removal of rakes from the bunkers.

Shower and locker facilities will remain closed for now.



Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 30, 2020 05:57
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  1. Matthew W May 2, 15:39

    Do we know if the french have opened driving ranges too or just courses?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Alberto May 1, 13:48

    Loro hanno già deciso, noi dobbiamo aspettare le “N” task force inutili.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Wanda April 30, 18:20

    Great for all of you golfers! Now it’s the Netherlands’ turn.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Mrs Faldo April 30, 09:07

    Republic and Northern Ireland should reopen first, and then England, Scotland and Wales by mid May.

    We’re an island, this should be easy.

    It makes no sense that we have a higher death toll than France when we had more time to prepare and are an island. The Cheltenham Festival, the Liverpool – Atletico Madrid game and Sadiq Khan saying we should all use the tube in March, and the failure to quarantine people who were coming into the country in February, have killed so many people. I will never forget

    Reply to this comment
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