The English Golf Club Where Flagsticks Can Be Removed

Haydock Park Golf Club has installed a sanitiser station to allow safe removal of its flagsticks

The English Golf Club Where Flagsticks Can Be Removed
(Image credit: Haydock Park GC)

Haydock Park Golf Club has installed a sanitiser station to allow safe removal of its flagsticks

The English Golf Club Where Flagsticks Can Be Removed

Golf courses in England re-opened in May after more than six weeks closed due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Just like many industries, golf had to adapt to welcome customers back safely and one of the many measures taken to help stop the spread of the virus was to keep the flagstick in at all times and ensure nobody would touch it.

Well, there is one course in England that is allowing golfers to take the flagstick out after England Golf gave the club permission.

Haydock Park Golf Club, between Liverpool and Manchester, wanted to be able to remove the flagstick during play for its Captain's Weekend due to 'bounce outs' from the current hole lifters that were installed.

A sanitiser station was set up with a hook to allow the flagstick to be rested on whilst players took their shots and then replaced the flagstick after they had finished.

Twitter: @HaydockParkGC

It was recommended that each group designated one member of the group to remove the flagstick whilst wearing their glove.

The system was received so well that the club has continued allowing players to remove the flagstick in this way.

"One of the committee members asked about the potential to have the flagsticks removed in time for Captain’s Weekend, this being to help mitigate ‘bounce outs’ that have been occurring due the hole lifters we’d recently installed," said Stephen Nicholson, the club's Business Manager.

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"We maintained that if we could do this in a safe and practical way then we’d consider. After contact with England Golf, it was deemed that we could indeed look to progress with a policy that enabled flagstick removal so long as the risk was covered and mitigated as much as practicably possible.

“With restrictions easing and the guidance relying very much on a common sensical approach we decided that because the event a couple of weeks ago went so well we’d incorporate this into our daily course setup and give the player the opportunity to remove the flagstick if they so wish.

Debate: Should the flagstick remain in for good?

"However, those that continue to be wary during this time can still putt with the flagstick in and use the golf ball hole lifters as they have been doing.

Haydock Park Golf Club is an 18-hole course located close to Junction 23 of the M6 and M62 motorways. The course was re-designed by James Braid and is one of the oldest golf clubs in England dating back to 1877.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer 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. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, 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 2-6. 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: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x