‘Two-ball golf to return in England at the end of March’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 14, 2021 11:47

A new report in the Sunday Times states that two-ball golf will return in England in late March.

This corresponds with an article that appeared recently in its sister paper The Times, that says that Boris Johnson will announce on February 22 a roadmap to reopening the country, which will see golf courses return to operation in the first wave after schools reopen on March 8.

The latest report goes slightly further, and implies that two-ball golf will return to England in time for the new golfing season at the end of March.

‘A second easing of social distancing rules is expected at the end of next month with the resumption of outdoor sports – such as golf and tennis – two people from different households,’ reports the newspaper.

‘Ministers have drawn a four-speed plan for restarting the economy, with all shops, pubs and restaurants open anywhere between early May and August.

‘The whole country will move together through a series of national tiers – which may be different from those in operation last year – with reviews every fortnight.’

English golf courses have been in full lockdown since early January – and golf courses in Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been closed since December. Golf is currently permitted in Scotland, but only under restrictions.

Recent research has found that the ‘level of [Covid-19] transmission from playing golf is likely to be extremely low’ and has led to calls that an expert in physical activity joins the UK’s SAGE advisory group.
This comes as new research finds that the chance of being infected with Covid while outdoors is ‘massively reduced’.

Furthermore, scientists have found that the risks are particularly low in fully open spaces such as golf courses.

Researchers found that fresh air disperses and dilutes the virus, and it helps to evaporate the liquid droplets in which it is carried.

On top of that, ultraviolet light from the sun should kill any virus that’s out in the open.

Even so, there are a handful of cases where it’s believed that infections did happen outside.

One study found that two men in China talking face-to-face for at least 15 minutes was enough to spread the virus – so the advice is to avoid being face-to-face if you’re outside with somebody else and less than two metres apart.

As for the virus being on outdoor surfaces such as flagpoles, researchers in the US found the virus on the handles of rubbish bins and the buttons at pedestrian crossings.

They reckon this may have led to infections in the area, though at a relatively low level compared with other ways of spreading the virus.

Many scientists now think that the amount of virus likely to be left on a surface would be minimal, and would disperse within an hour or two.

“The chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces [outdoors] is very small,” says Prof Emmanuel Goldman of Rutgers University.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 14, 2021 11:47
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34 Comments

  1. ErnieLong February 16, 23:28

    I hope this article is wrong, the end of March seems a long way off !

    Reply to this comment
  2. MainWoo February 16, 20:10

    If we were to mention all the anomalies, loopholes and idiocies pertaining to strict interpretation of current Covid restrictions we would need to list as many items as there are clowns in parliament arguing for and against them with precious little regard for the real science behind them. One certain thing is that golf and common sense will prevail eventually. Blimey, what an optimist!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Gabriel Ice February 15, 10:51

    Hear hear, old chap. And quite impossible to have golf before end of March, can’t remember the reason now, but it must be so as the Minister for Social Antagonism said so

    Reply to this comment
  4. Humey February 15, 09:18

    I think Boris is reluctant to allow 2 balls because it would justify Scottish rules. Politics again !

    Reply to this comment
  5. nemo February 14, 22:32

    It is so annoying that you could walk the course with a friend and a couple of walking sticks do they really think covid is clever enough to tell the difference between a walking stick and a golf club

    Reply to this comment
    • Ck February 15, 08:57

      Obviously most replying here will be like me (a golfer) but again this is standard government hypocrisy.. We’re allowed and encouraged to go for walks. We’re allowed to meet 1 other person from another household on these walks outside… Now go outside and measure the width of the local path in your neighbourhoods. The width of paths beside the main roads. They are NOT 2 meters wide and in my area they are sometimes not wide enough for two people to share side by side.

      But ya.. A golf course or green… Too close still.? Rubbish.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Stretch February 14, 21:59

    Totally agree with you..

    Reply to this comment
  7. Stretch February 14, 21:57

    It’s a load of tosh.. Get why golf and outdoor activities where stopped but 2 ball golf is safe, safer than going to super markets where they’ve been chocker of late along with other shops etc.. So many people out walking and walking public routes but you can’t hit a golf ball around acres of land.. If Boris and his mate wouldn’t have screwed up from the beginning there wouldn’t have been a second wave, 3 lockdowns and millions of peoples life’s disrupted no to mention the rise in mental health issues.. And well I’m on a rant don’t get me started on black lives matter.. Everybody lives matter and I get why its happening and needs sorting but what happened to NHS? Clap for a few weeks then nothing all though there still struggling.. Get a grip UK government. We’ve always been behind the rest not matter what happens.

    Reply to this comment
    • Harmony February 15, 15:05

      First of all the fact you lack the proper grammar in your comments I suspect explains your ignorance to social injustices. What the hell has the awareness brought on by the Black Lives Matter movement have to do with Golf course closures ? The saddest thing is that we have to actually resort to an awareness campaign of this type in the first place. Do you object when they talk about gender equality in the workplace or breast cancer or prostrate cancer awareness campaigns ? this is no different and the fact you have noticed it and talking about it is the whole point…..

      Reply to this comment
    • ErnieLong February 16, 23:20

      What has Black Lives Matter got to do with a comment about golf courses opening. Golf has a major problem with diversity and youre not helping, keep your racist views to yourself, you should be ashamed of yourself ! What exactly dont you like about BLM, as you know some people are not made welcome at places like golf clubs because of the colour of their skin, if they were there would be far more members/players than we currently have at the moment. Im sure not everyone is perfect who supports BLM, but the whole point of it is to get rid of racism and make society equal, dont worry youre not under threat ! Its just melanin !

      Reply to this comment
  8. Noahsark February 14, 21:17

    At this rate the less wealthier clubs will shut for good! How about borris suplimenting all the membership fees that have been continued being paid by members that have stood by there respective clubs! And lost half a year’s golf, he’s dished out money to just about everybody else. How many members do you think will continue to pay for nothing? The sport will end up being an elite sport for the wealthy again. As the working class drop there membership.

    Reply to this comment
    • Charles Lobotomy February 15, 07:28

      Golf should be banned until there is zero covid in the entire world. It is obvious to everyone that it was golfers who spread the virus in the first place. I saw someone at my club take 8 shots on an easy par 4. This is why we have been in lockdown for so long.

      Reply to this comment
      • Gabriel Ice February 15, 10:50

        Hear hear, old chap. And quite impossible to have golf before end of March, can’t remember the reason now, but it must be so as the Minister for Social Antagonism said so

        Reply to this comment
      • Hacker February 15, 12:14

        Did not realise you was watching me .

        Reply to this comment
      • Wacker February 27, 15:00

        Golf is safer than soccer,Your filthy fags and capers,and all the rubbish people throw out of their cars.How dare you insult the sport

        Reply to this comment
    • Kelly February 15, 10:18

      I pay my fees to my Golf Club via direct debit as do many others. The lockdowns have cost me a lot of money, with nothing to show in the way of golf. I have considered cancelling my payments, but I don’t want to put the club into possible financial trouble by doing so. I’m 83 years old, and awaitingknee replacement surgery, so perhaps when I get back playing, they might offer me a couple of price free buggies as a thank you for remaining loyal. What do others think about that,?

      Reply to this comment
  9. General Manager February 14, 20:45

    Whilst in truth I would prefer to see golf return sooner, I think we need to be realistic, especially with schools not returning until 8th March, that anything earlier is highly unlikely

    Reply to this comment
    • Eddie February 14, 21:59

      It’s a disgrace that golf is not permitted anywhere in UK apart from here in Scotland! The restrictions in place here are for 2 balls only and clubhouse closed completely. Clubs taken home after every round. I would be lost without my two rounds at the weekend.

      Reply to this comment
  10. SHerd February 14, 20:01

    Someone needs to drag England Golf into the real world. My daughter who is also a County Golfer has worked throughout the pandemic as a key worker and put her life at risk every single day to help put food on our tables. I understand England Golf has sent a party of so called elite Golfers to South Africa to play golf. How can this be right because South Africa is on the red list and as clever as the virus is it does not ignore elite golfers. Its time for England Golf to think of everyone not just a small band of their so called elite Golfers.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Morris February 14, 18:56

    Let’s hope we get some good weather over next few weeks so they can dry out and recover from winter.

    Reply to this comment
  12. ALaw February 14, 18:42

    Still don’t understand why in two ball golf is prohibited. It’s safe, well managed by clubs and good for the mental and physical health of millions. It also alleviates the financial pressure on clubs. Meanwhile in it’s safe to do so. I don’t get it.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Pier February 14, 18:19

    2-ball is better than no-ball !! Sorry I see the positives.

    Reply to this comment
  14. FarriMarc February 14, 16:32

    Let’s hope so. But at this rate, who knows if that will still happen.

    Reply to this comment
  15. John February 14, 16:29

    Great news if we can play golf again from late March. Due to demand, I think it would be sensible to allow 3 players per group, rather than the 2 proposed. Most golfers are very sensible, and this would allow more players at peak times.

    Reply to this comment
    • Groutyman February 14, 17:28

      Never seen 4 balls all go the same way or distance only time together is on the tee or green then its one at a time so let’s have 4 ball golf back.

      Reply to this comment
      • Noahsark February 14, 21:19

        At this rate the less wealthier clubs will shut for good! How about borris suplimenting all the membership fees that have been continued being paid by members that have stood by there respective clubs! And lost half a year’s golf, he’s dished out money to just about everybody else. How many members do you think will continue to pay for nothing? The sport will end up being an elite sport for the wealthy again. As the working class drop there membership.

        Reply to this comment
        • Skibum February 15, 13:02

          I play at a course that is completely enclosed my a perimeter fence. Fifty yards over the fence there is a coastal footpath which is about three miles long at busy times the is more than 1500 people walking, jogging, cycling etc.yet the course is completely empty, if we play in 3 balls with 9 minutes intervals there would be a maximum of 6 people on a hole measuring over 300yards. Let’s get back to playing again

          Reply to this comment
    • Gerry February 14, 18:33

      Get them open NOW .It’s perfectly safe to play ON YOUR OWN. Closing courses was entirely political and nothing to do with the virus. It’s much safer than going for a walk and bumping into dog walkers, joggers , cyclists etc etc

      Reply to this comment
    • Eil February 14, 19:46

      3 balls would be a sensible option

      Reply to this comment
  16. Graham D February 14, 16:11

    Boris will still change his mind.

    Reply to this comment
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