Golf could return in the UK on May 7 (or May 11 or May 18)

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 2, 2020 15:20

The Daily Telegraph has revealed that golf courses in the UK could reopen on May 7, while the BBC is reporting that it could be May 11, as the ruling authority in Guernsey states that golf can resume almost immediately.

This coincides with the news that golf courses in the Republic of Ireland will reopen on May 18. It now seems very likely that golf courses in Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK, will reopen around the same time.

This also follows the news that Portugal is easing its coronavirus lockdown in three phases, with the first on May 4, in which golf will resume, and that France is easing its Covid-19 lockdown from May 11, also with golf being allowed in the first wave.

“Insiders believe that could come as soon as May 7, with the game being the first to resume at grass-roots level when the restrictions are lifted,” writes the Daily Telegraph.

The paper quotes Craig Tracey, the Tory MP for North Warwickshire, who said: “I would like to say well done to all the different bodies involved. Members of Parliament know how valuable golf is to the UK as it has a huge economic impact, employs large numbers and has significant positive influence on people’s health. The nature of the game means it can, and should, return quickly provided there are steps taken by all involved to maintain social distancing and to meet any other government instruction.”

Responding to the news that golf clubs in Ireland can reopen on May 18, Golf Ireland chief executive Mark Kennelly said: “The golf community in Ireland welcomes the confirmation that our clubs can reopen on a restricted basis in the first phase of the government’s plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions. This means that golf will be one of the first sports to resume and will give golf club members the opportunity to return to play on a limited but safe basis.

“Golf offers the potential to play a significant role in the recovery from this crisis in public health terms. Our sport provides a valuable outlet for healthy outdoor activity which can be enjoyed with the appropriate safety measures in place.

“We hope that, later in the year, golf can also make a valuable contribution to economic recovery, particularly in the domestic tourism sector.”

This comes as restrictions on sport and recreation in Guernsey have been eased, meaning that golf in pairs, and outdoor one-on-one coaching will now be allowed, provided social distancing is maintained.

Royal Guernsey Golf Club has said it will be reopening for members only from Monday, May 4, and tee times can be booked from Sunday, May 3.

The club has added a list of rules that golfers must adhere to in order to play the game.

In Jersey, Royal Jersey Golf Club has reportedly said it will reopen its course on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s golf correspondent, Iain Carter, tweeted that he is hearing rumours that golf will resume in the UK on May 11.

For now, while no-one can be precisely certain when golf courses can reopen, it does appear inevitable that the game will resume this month, with social distancing restrictions in place.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 2, 2020 15:20
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  1. Stuart H May 3, 18:10

    Realistically I think June possibly July

    Reply to this comment
  2. Paul May 3, 14:30

    It would be less busy on a golf hole than it is at b&q, supermarkets and my local park.
    No one seems to acknowledge the one way rule and the 2m rule.
    Opening golf courses and only allowing 2 people a hole, along with other restrictions, would allow people to get the exercise they need and in a safer environment than risking it with the hundreds crammed into parks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Coolhandluke May 13, 07:56

      I don’t get it
      Told members of the same household can play. BBC shows 2 friends tee off in Manchester this morning. What is the deal?

      Reply to this comment
  3. Tim K May 3, 10:09

    So if the Irish government have ‘announced’ the 18th and are doing it in cooperation with UK &NI why have you not said that date too …

    In relaxing the rules it will also have to include fishing too and as we all know that is the most dangerous of outside non contact sports.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Graham May 3, 08:18

    Would love to see golf retune this month.. but don’t know.. if golf is allowed then how about tennis? Cycling? Bowls? Athletics? Rowing? The list goes on… and will all have to be included. That said if golf is allowed, drive to course, play, go home… 5 hours?? Will that not just encourage non golfers to feel like they are hard done by with their one hour per day??
    It’s a tough one and government in an impossible position on this I feel?!

    Reply to this comment
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