Golf Courses for exercise and leisure

I believe that golf courses in Scotland should be open for business with certain restrictions in order to make sure that golf clubs survive the current pandemic and so that members of clubs can get out and exercise in the open air.
Golf courses could open to their fee paying members with restrictions such as no more than two players in a group and tee times spread out with 10 minute intervals. This allows plenty of space between playing partners and also between each group on the course. Courses that have PGA affiliated members of staff will also be able to carry out course ranger duties, ensuring that social distancing is being adhered you.
Social distancing is a relatively new concept however for safety reasons, golfers already must stand reasonably far from each other on all areas of the course.
Touch point restrictions can also be easily implemented if players use their feet to smooth over bunkers instead of rakes, spacers are inserted into the holes so that there is no need to touch the flag or the cup and ball washers can be covered up.

Why the contribution is important

My idea is important because with courses being closed members across Scotland are withholding vital annual subscription fees and if this goes on much longer, one of the biggest providers to Scotland’s economy will collapse, with the closure of many members clubs.
It is also important from a health and well-being point of view. Both physical and mental health will be improved for those who do not have access to other sports and currently being on a golf course with a friend or two has to be safer than standing two metres from total strangers in a line for B&Q.
Finally for PGA professionals up and down the country who rely on the income over the summer months to survive long winters, it is vitally important for coaches and golf course shop owners to open with strict social distancing rules and generate some much needed income.

by euanc on May 06, 2020 at 02:52PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 42 votes


  • Posted by JohnG May 06, 2020 at 16:06

    Only allow a maximum of two to play on staggered tee times of 15 minutes apart. Close off every other car park bay. Have a in out check on the Locker room and Toilets doors, ie one at a time.
  • Posted by ediken May 06, 2020 at 16:18

    Absolutely agree with this proposal. It should be relatively easy to maintain social distancing in pairs on a golf course with 10 minute slots. I would go further and suggest mulligans are used for any ball within three feet of the hole so that you minimise touching of a flag. Peebles golf course suggest a max of 9 holes per outing to allow more people to play. Online booking should be encouraged to minimise congestion at the start with players required to turn up max 10 mins before booking time.
  • Posted by CatProvan May 06, 2020 at 17:14

    I think golf is one of the few leisure activities which easily lends itself to social distancing
  • Posted by Irene May 06, 2020 at 17:17

    I totally agree with the proposal to reopen golf courses for play. It would be very easy to continue to socially distance and stay safe. On the plus side it provides valuable exercise in the open air.
  • Posted by Queens225 May 06, 2020 at 17:38

    Totally agree with the proposal to re-open Golf courses. It’s a situation where social distancing can be easily implemented and the opportunity to Golf is invaluable for peoples mental and physical health.
  • Posted by mcgarrjp May 06, 2020 at 17:59

    100% support this idea. Less risk than visiting a supermarket, good for general health and, because clubs can record all names of participants, in the event of any individual who has been at the course showing virus symptoms at a later date, it would be a simple job to trace and test anybody who might have had contact.
  • Posted by Malcolmlowe May 06, 2020 at 18:09

    I agree golfers can quite easily maintain the Social distancing requirements., I agree also to the suggestions around to arrangement to not actually “holing out”
    To look at “phasing” back to something New Normal, I would suggest the following:-
    *First two weeks family members only to play together(in the bubble)
    * For players who don’t have a “playing” family member bring along FM for the walk!
    * Suggest we don’t need 10 minute T intervals...with 2 players, 5minutes more than adequate, which will allow more players to play

    Phase 2 (a review could done following the 2 week trial period > moving to phase 2 below)
    * Now open it up to a mixed playing partners
    * Extend T interval times if necessary
  • Posted by Tonymc May 06, 2020 at 18:35

    100%agree with this proposal but surely we could play medal competitions as it is only club members who can play anyway
  • Posted by Malcolmlowe May 06, 2020 at 22:32

    Tony, this would be left to the discretion of golf clubs. The proposal is about getting golf started again without compromising the “restrictions” and putting the country back into “lockdown”
  • Posted by Brucemw May 07, 2020 at 09:30

    Agree 100% that members club golf courses should be opened for members playing non medal golf at least 10 minutes apart. All bookings to be made online or by phone before travelling to course.
  • Posted by JWM May 07, 2020 at 15:44

    I agree with most of this. I do not understand the 15mins between tee off groups. Do we not all wait until the group in front move on before hitting our 100-300 yard shots . I think 2m is the guidance , is not a full shot far enough away, why do we need a two holes between groups?
  • Posted by Craig78 May 07, 2020 at 16:02

    I totally agree with the aforementioned comments - golf is clearly one of those sports that can be played safely as we gradually lift ourselves out of the lock-down. I believe golf courses should begin to open next week (start 11 May 2020), subject to the sensible restrictions already mentioned.

    This is readily achievable and can be done by most golf courses. To continue to shut the courses I believe is detrimental to a large swathe of the people who need to get out and do exercise, in order to protect their well-being and mental health.

    It is also imperative for golf clubs to open asap in order to ensure their economic survival - to continue the lock down is simply to push a lot of the clubs which rely on m'ship subs and green fees into economic oblivion. This needs to be resisted and I would implore the government to do the right thing and open the golf courses from next week.
  • Posted by simonnorris May 07, 2020 at 16:14

    It makes complete sense to open courses again - good for exercise, physical and mental health.

    It is easy to play while respecting social distancing rules.

    There is no reason why 3 or 4 players can't play in a group.
  • Posted by AuntieKaty May 07, 2020 at 20:10

    People can walk on a golf course, but not actually play the game. Golf courses should be open to allow exercise and a small degree of social interaction at a distance, as well as keeping golf courses financially viable for the future.
  • Posted by barwellfleet May 08, 2020 at 08:34

    Completely agree that golf can be played in a way that presents very low level of risk but provides potentially huge benefits.
  • Posted by beejay23 May 08, 2020 at 08:42

    I could not agree more. Open up golf courses ASAP.
  • Posted by Elliemay662 May 08, 2020 at 09:07

    Agree. Scotland is the hone of golf and can demonstrate to he world how it can be re- opened in a sensible practical way. There seems to be a few ideas about golf so might be worth keeping just one thread open on this.
  • Posted by Roberto May 08, 2020 at 17:14

    Agree courses should be open, keep social distancing on the course and the rules suggested. It would be much safer than walking in our busy local parks.
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