Courses in England have been open for nearly a week and the reports are that is has been a safe and successful return for the sport

Golf Membership Applications Increase After “Safe And Successful” Re-Opening

The Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, North Warwickshire MP Craig Tracey, has called the reopening of golf courses in England “safe and successful” and also confirmed that membership applications had increased.

Courses in England opened last week after Covid-19 lockdown guidelines were loosened, with courses in Wales and Northern Ireland now also open.

There are plenty of restrictions in place but the news is that the re-opening has gone very well and this period could turn out to be a very positive one for the game of golf as one of the very first sports to restart in the UK.

Membership applications are up, pace of play has drastically improved due to two-ball only play and many casual players must now be thinking about getting their clubs out of the garage.

Craig Tracy warned golfers to remain vigilant but was very positive about the sport’s return, saying that “the overwhelming feedback was that the restarting of golf has been safe and successful.”

“We heard that players were keeping to social distancing requirements with little or no instruction from staff and the new temporary rules were being diligently followed,” he said after meeting with the golf industry.

“With only two-balls being allowed, play has become faster and it was not surprising that many courses were at full capacity.

“One of the terrific pieces of news that we had picked up on over the week, and was confirmed by industry bodies today, is the increase in membership applications and innovation that has resulted.

“This should be a really significant positive impact for the sport moving forward.”

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The UK Golf Federation also praised golf’s successful return in England due to the safety measures put in place and the brisk pace of play.

Doug Poole, the Chief Executive of the UK Golf Federation said: “Across the country we have had excellent reports from clubs of all different types and sizes.

“The UK Golf Federation has been keen to share best practice on all government’s safety procedures throughout its membership and we are proud that we have been able help golf resume safely.

“Importantly, all of our members realise that this is a critical time for the country and we are very grateful to be open at all.

“Being one of the first sports to re-open to the public is especially important for the country’s well-being and fitness.

“We have set the highest safety standards and I am extremely impressed with this level of restraint and understanding of everyone involved, from customers to operators”.

Ian Bonser, owner of the 3 Hammers Golf Complex, was delighted with some of the comments made about his safety policies: “Several of our customers have commented that they feel safer at our golf centre than at their local supermarket due to the thoroughness of the social distancing and signage my team have deployed.

“I couldn’t ask for better feedback than that.”

Neil Burke, who runs Horsham Golf and Fitness, said that his club may even be putting more emphasis on two-ball play post-lockdown.

“The pace of play has been a major advantage and we are considering adjusting our future management style to include times when people can play in two-balls only,” he said.

“There has been quite a lot spoken about the fact that golf is too time-consuming but most of our players are getting round in less than three hours and that gives them more time to enjoy other activities with their families.

“There is obviously a market for faster golf. In addition, the attitude of our members and visitors has been excellent. They have been polite and eager to fit in with our new operating rules and restrictions and a delight to deal with.”

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