It Is Safe To Play Golf During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

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

It Is Safe To Play Golf During The Coronavirus Pandemic
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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.

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels @golfmonthlymagazine on Facebook and @golfmonthly on Twitter and Instagram

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, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four 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 at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. 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 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5