Golf courses in the UK are now closed due to a nationwide lockdown

It Is Safe To Play Golf During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a nationwide Coronavirus lockdown last week that demanded people to stay at home unless going to work that they couldn’t do at home, buying food and medicine or for one form of exercise per day.

That closed bars, restaurants, most shops, leisure centres, salons and more establishments up-and-down the country, including golf courses.

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Initially, golfers were hoping that an 18-hole round by themselves or with someone else from their household counted as exercise, but any journey to a course would be deemed unnecessary travel in this time where staying at home can save lives.

England Golf announced that courses must close, and the other home golfing unions in Scotland, Wales and Ireland all did the same.

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“Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency,” England Golf said.

“While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is clear, we must stay home and play our part in containing the spread of Covid-19,” a statement from Scottish Golf read.

The lockdown is initially for three weeks and we’re one week into it, so there is a possibility that we could get back out onto the course in a couple of weeks.

Some may say, however, that the prospect of courses opening again so soon is unlikely.

However, greenkeepers are still working to maintain courses – listen to our podcast with BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton for more details on that.

Prior to the courses closing, clubs and facilities were told that the vast majority of golfers were allowed to continue playing as “in general, golf is a healthy pursuit played in the open air.”

Measures like taking rakes out of bunkers, banning handshakes, banning touching the flag and taking bins and ball washers out of play were put in to help with the social distancing guidelines.

Could we see that or something similar again in a couple of weeks?

Quite possibly.

Some will argue that it is safe to play golf in this Covid-19 pandemic, but as things stand, the government thinks differently.

Let’s all hope that we can all get back on the course safely in the near future.

Stay safe everyone.

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