The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association has welcomed the loosening of Covid19 restrictions to allow golf courses to re-open in England on March 29, but has also said that the five-week period between the announcement and the re-opening will allow greenkeepers to carry out vital course works that have been hampered by the bad weather over the winter.
A statement issued by BIGGA said: “As the members’ association for golf greenkeepers in the UK, BIGGA is acutely aware that golfers are eager to get back out on the course and start enjoying the limitless physical and mental health benefits of our wonderful sport. However, as golfers have found in Scotland, where courses have remained open for limited play, this has been an incredibly wet and difficult winter and many greenkeepers have reported being able to do very limited maintenance throughout the colder months.
“As such, while disappointed that the restart of golf will not be until March 29 in England, BIGGA welcomes the notice period as it will enable golf facilities to complete any essential winter maintenance and prepare the course for play to a standard that will not be detrimental to the long-term health of the facility.
“Over the coming weeks BIGGA will be working alongside the governing bodies in golf to provide information regarding reasonable expectations of course presentation, so that returning golfers are aware of the challenges greenkeepers have faced with regards climate, staffing and COVID-19 restrictions and to ensure a safe, happy and prosperous return to golf for everyone.”