England Golf has issued an update to its ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ support and guidance for golfers, golf clubs and counties ahead of the UK government’s planned relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, July 19.
As far as the new rules apply to golf, the following restrictions will come into play on July 19, although any guidance may be re-issued, subject to future announcements of government measures to combat COVID-19.
1. Course Set-up
• All golf course furniture may be returned for normal use, including the removal of flagsticks, standard hole cups, bunker rakes and ball washers.
• We recommend that clubs provide hand sanitiser stations on the golf course to ensure that golfers can regularly clean their hands.
2. Before the Round
• The process of providing access to the golf course is at the discretion of individual clubs.
We recommend that clubs consider keeping a form of tee booking or player registration system in place.
• Pro shops, changing facilities, bars, lounges, restaurants and other indoor areas may revert to pre-pandemic operations.
3. During the Round
• The government’s removal of rules and guidance around social distancing and congregation numbers mean that there are no restrictions on the golf course with regards to course furniture, sharing equipment, touching golf balls or the size of groups, beyond those set by the club.
4. Practice Areas and Lessons
• Practice areas, including driving ranges, practice nets and indoor facilities, may operate without any restrictions on the number of users. We recommend that clubs provide access to hand sanitiser around practice facilities.
5. Competitions and Rules of Golf
• Competition and scoring for handicap functions, including the registration process, handling and submitting of scorecards, and administration may revert to pre-pandemic operations.
• Coronavirus-related changes to the rules of golf and all handicapping provisions that enabled the game to be played competitively during the period in which restrictions have been set are to be removed.