Golfers in Wales can return to their clubs today (Monday) following the Welsh government’s two-week lockdown – and are also returning to the new World Handicap System.
As in England, Scotland and Ireland, the new handicapping system came into operation in Wales on November 2, but obviously will only apply from today, with plenty of work behind the scenes by Wales Golf and clubs to make it a success.
Golfers in Wales are urged to make sure they have signed up to the new Wales Golf Player Portal. https://members.clubhouse.walesgolf.org
“In the past few months Wales Golf have run seven roadshows, showcasing the changes to our handicapping system as we switch over to World Handicap System (WHS) on the November 2,” explained Wales Golf Handicapping and Club Services Manager Sandy Veale. “We ran through the key points of the new rules of handicapping to allow club committees time to plan for the launch.
“We also went through the key technological developments that will hopefully make viewing and maintaining a players handicap easier than ever, as well as creating new opportunities for golfers to interact and socialise through the technology.
“There are also key features of the new system that will hopefully enhance how Wales Golf and affiliate clubs are able to interact, communicate and maintain the handicaps of golfers.
“Wales Golf is excited about the introduction of the new modern and inclusive approach to handicapping, helping to attract new players and greater opportunity to those currently playing the game of golf.”
“From Monday, November 9, golf in Wales will return to the ‘new normal’ on the course following the Welsh Government Firebreak,” said Wales Golf Chief Executive Richard Dixon. “Up to 30 people can take part in an organised activity outdoors. This means that a four ball from different households can once again resume in Wales. Local lockdowns will also end at that time, meaning club members can travel to play at their home clubs even if that club is outside their local area.
“The R&A COVID-19 Rules of Golf, which were introduced earlier this year will continue to apply. Welsh golf clubhouses, professional shops and restaurants, will be able to reopen. Whilst still complying in full with Welsh Government regulations. Further hospitality guidance is still to be released.
Coaching and competitive club level competitions can also resume without gathering before or after the round.
Dixon added: “The Welsh Government has made it very clear that there will be no travel restrictions in Wales. However, people in England must not travel to Wales during their lockdown. These rules will, of course, also apply to golf. Wales Golf will continue to work closely with the Welsh Government, The All Parliamentary Golf Group, Sport Wales, the Welsh Sport’s Association (WSA) and our collaborative work with the outdoor sports group pushing the interests of golfers in Wales.
“This will ensure the Welsh Government are aware of essential Physical & Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Economic benefits of our sport. This is a case we will continue to push as forcefully as we can, but ultimately the Welsh Government make the final decisions. The safety of our members, golf club staff and the general public will always be our number one priority.”
Dixon concluded: “Wales Golf would once again, like to thank clubs and golfers in this difficult time for their excellent work is helping to keep our sport, golfers and communities safe. By continuing this effort, we will all put golf in a strong position to remain open in the future.”