What Condition Will Golf Courses Be In Post-Lockdown?

Courses will have had a break of almost three months, so will that have done them good?

What Condition Will Golf Courses Be In Post-Lockdown
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Courses in England will have had a break of almost three months, so will that have done them good?

What Condition Will Golf Courses Be In Post-Lockdown?

Golfers in England finally got the news they had been hoping for when the UK Government confirmed that courses will be re-opening on 29th March.

It will mark 12 weeks since courses have been closed, so what will this prolonged period have done for golf course conditioning?

Some golfers might be very excited to return to a 'rested' course but are hopes too high?

This tweet from PGA Pro and golf course architect Alan Walker got us thinking:

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Walker was hoping that golfers would be realistic with their expectations after a very difficult winter in terms of weather coupled with greenkeepers being furloughed or working in smaller teams.

In terms of statistics, it was the coldest January since 2010 and rainfall was also above average, whilst sunshine was below average for England. Hardly ideal conditions.

We spoke to British and International Golf Greenkeepers' Association CEO Jim Croxton, who said that the rest will have done courses good but golfers need to consider that many have been under snow and rain for much of the winter.

"I hope not," Jim Croxton said on whether golfers will have unrealistic expectations of their courses post-lockdown.

"I think we've got to put all of this in context really, so if over the last six weeks in lockdown 3 golf had been allowed, I know plenty of golf courses that would only have been open a handful of days in the last six weeks because, I live up in the North West, it's really not stopped raining.

"Every family walk we go on is across muddy fields etc.

"Now golf courses are better drained than public footpaths as a rule but a lot of places have been under snow or heavy rain.

"So I think golfers need to consider the weather conditions we've had for the last couple of months before they really start thinking about anything else.

"The rest will have therefore definitely done some good, golf courses will be in better condition because they've been closed than if they'd have been open and continued to be battered with a lot of golfers.

"But I think that we've got to remember that if we do get playing golf again next month it still is only March.

"It's pre The Masters and golf courses will still be in their winter clothes I would say. "

Related: Listen to Jim on this week's Clubhouse Podcast

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. 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: 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: TaylorMade TP5x