Will Two Ball Golf Become The New Normal?

Golfers in England have been getting used to quick rounds playing in two balls, but threes and fours are now allowed

Will Two ball Golf Become The New Normal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golfers in England have been getting used to quick rounds playing in two balls, but threes and fours are now allowed

Will Two Ball Golf Become The New Normal?

Golfers in England are now allowed to play in three and four balls after new government lockdown guidance.

Since golf in England re-opened almost three weeks ago, play has been two balls only, with threes and fours allowed only if all players are from the same household.

Golfers have been loving the two ball only rule with rounds taking no more than three hours, effectively ending the slow play debate.

We've seen clubs also enjoying the two ball only rule, with some even making permanent changes to their time sheets by, for example, allow only twos in mornings.

Lincoln Golf Centre say that, going forward, it will not even be allowing four balls anymore.

"We as a golf club don’t feel that 4 balls can do anything but slow golf down so we won't be allowing them back," Lincoln Golf Centre said on Twitter.

"Slow play is the biggest curse of golf and the biggest thing we get feedback about!"

A number of clubs in the UK are two ball only anyway, and this period has certainly reminded us just how great two ball golf is.

WATCH: 9 Tips To Beat Slow Play

There's certainly a large number of the golfing population that love them due to the speed at which it takes to get round.

For a busy parent or someone who simply doesn't have 4-5 hours time out of their day to dedicate to golf, two balls are the best way that they can enjoy the game.

However, whilst saying that, an equally large number of golfers probably enjoy nothing more than a relaxed four ball with good company, playing a friendly better-ball match.

Perhaps this Covid-19 period we're currently in may be a time for clubs, like Lincoln Golf Centre, to revise their strategies going forward.

Two balls only before 10am on weekends may be something that is seen at some clubs, or perhaps a new starting matrix for courses with two-tee starts.

Clubs must consider the financial penalties of not allowing four balls though, as much-needed green fees can only be maximised if fours are permitted.

But then saying that, if play in twos is quick and tee times can be spaced closer together, golfers may enjoy their time more and be keen to re-book.

This is a fine balancing act, especially with many clubs struggling financially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many golfers are looking forward to threes and fours returning as more tee times will be available, as currently courses are jam-packed due to only two players being able to take one spot, as oppose to four usually.

Whilst threes and fours are allowed in England, it still may be a few days until they're in operation as clubs will have two balls booked for a while still.

We asked on social media if you would like two balls to become the new norm and we had lots of differing responses -

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, 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 has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x