Government "Gathering Evidence" On Whether Golf Can Re-Open

Golf, along with fishing and bowls, could be three of the first sports to re-open due to the ease of social distancing

Government Responds To Petition For Golf To Be Re-Opened
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf, along with fishing and bowls, could be three of the first sports to re-open due to the ease of social distancing

Government "Gathering Evidence" On Whether Golf Can Re-Open

Golf clubs have been closed for a month now after the government's Coronavirus lockdown measures were put in place on 23rd March.

Prior to the UK lockdown being introduced, clubs were prioritising safety of players and staff by putting into place measures like rakes and ball washers being taken out of action and banning flags being touched.

When golf returns, we're likely to see similar measures in place until a Covid-19 vaccine can be made publicly available.

So, when will golf return?

We've seen golf clubs around Europe in certain countries re-open again with similar restrictions, and it's likely that golf will be one of the first sports to get playing again here in the UK.

That is because of the huge open nature of the game and the ease of which social distancing can be practised.

It's also good for both physical and mental wellbeing.

However, the fact is that golf is currently banned, mainly due to the fact that unnecessary journeys are banned.

A journey that isn't made to either get food and medical supplies or to go to key work that can't be done at home is deemed unnecessary, so the government would need to relax that first to allow golfers to get back on the course.

That could come perhaps a little sooner than you may think after the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden hinted that golf, fishing and bowls could be opened ahead of other sports, per The Telegraph.

He said that his department were "gathering evidence" on which sports can socially distance most effectively, and golf would certainly be one of them.

Dowden said at a digital, culture, media and sport select committee that if there was evidence that the three sports could re-open safely then he would press the case to the Prime Minister and the Cobra emergencies committee.

"We are gathering that information," he said.

"In respect of all sports I want us to ease restrictions as quickly as we are able to, but that has to be consistent with the public evidence and guidance."

If he does find some evidence to take to the Prime Minister then that could be the key to re-opening our golf courses.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV