Golf reopening

The golf courses should reopen as it has a structure set in place for social distancing set by the R&A
This is good for exercise and mental health.

Why the contribution is important

Golf reopening
Exercise and mental health.
Otherwise golf clubs will close

by Ianmiller1959 on May 05, 2020 at 12:44PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 180 votes


  • Posted by Robbie2005 May 05, 2020 at 12:52

    Golf is an outdoor sport where social distancing can easily be maintained.
    Clubhouses may need to remain closed or be controlled.
  • Posted by sreid May 05, 2020 at 12:53

    I would agree that a number of sports which by definition have a limited number of active participants at a time (e.g. golf & tennis) should be prioritised in terms of being allowed ahead of larger group sports such as football. Or perhaps in the case of golf even enforced to play on your own - It would seem that this is potentially no more risk of interaction than cycling or running.
  • Posted by leesap99 May 05, 2020 at 12:54

    As long as implemented safely an excellent idea
  • Posted by gdr1852 May 05, 2020 at 12:56

    Should be low risk if social distancing managed properly. Downside is that it will probably irritate many of those who are not golfers (unreasonably). Need to take particular care with the many seniors who play golf in Scotland and who may be higher risk if they catch the virus.
  • Posted by CarradaleGolfer May 05, 2020 at 12:58

    Social distancing wasn't a known term until recently yet it's exactly what golfers do on the course.

    Promotes exercise and and is good for mental health.
  • Posted by Pedro83 May 05, 2020 at 12:58

    People are walking across golf courses for exercise anyway. Might as well be playing golf. No need to re-open clubhouses but let people play. Many Scottish clubs can’t afford to be losing members.
  • Posted by Ranald May 05, 2020 at 12:58

    Think the danger with this, is not so much the golf itself, but rather the social aspects that surround it. Would require a lot of discipline on the part of clubs and players. Hard to police.
  • Posted by IPat May 05, 2020 at 12:59

    There is no need for golf courses to be closed, care can be taken by sensible players to avoid contact. It helps mental health, exercise, enjoyment of life.
  • Posted by Gavin_M_Broughty_Ferry May 05, 2020 at 13:00

    Golf is relatively simple to get restarted as my local club had in place a number of measures to ensure social distancing is respected and limiting the chances of cross contamination.

    1. They removed all rakes from bunkers and made them - out of bounds
    2. They removed all benches so no-one can sit down
    3. They said all pins should not be removed
    4. They removed all poles if a ball went in the water
    5. They extended the time between tee times to limit groups standing together

    They could also go further if needed and start with only 2 balls rather than 4 balls to again respect social distancing.

  • Posted by Kathleenmulvey May 05, 2020 at 13:00

    Some outdoor pursuits like golf/fishing are less risky than going to the supermarket and will decrease the amount of walkers to cities parks/beauty spots.
  • Posted by Ianmarshall May 05, 2020 at 13:01

    Golf facilities should open again with strict social distancing rules imposed.

    Maximum of 2 ball games

    Green flags to remain in hole and not touched by players

    restrictions placed in clubhouse and locker rooms.

    People have been walking and dog walking in huge numbers on my closed course across the road and yet I can not play a solo round of golf , double standards not considered and unfair.
  • Posted by Jane May 05, 2020 at 13:02

    This is a sport that could be managed safely and enable private and municipal courses to be utilised quickly.
  • Posted by Robmcd1874 May 05, 2020 at 13:04

    Clubhouses should remain closed but online tee booking and groups kept to 2 maximum. Social distancing rules still apply and if anyone has any symptoms don’t go golfing self isolate.
  • Posted by Lawsonfife May 05, 2020 at 13:04

    Fully support this proposal especially if the pre lockdown guidelines were in force (eg no removal of flag).

    Initially could make more restrictive by limiting to club members and/or households playing together.

    This would provide great exercise for all especially older people who are the predominant age group playing golf.

    In addition this would support golf clubs , which are integral to the Scottish economy, through this difficult time

    Consideration for other external and two people games (eg tennis) could also be given.
  • Posted by Sutherlandb May 05, 2020 at 13:04

    Golf has had clear guidance issued by its authority to allow safe opening under strict restrictions. When is a likely timescale going to be issued to allow courses to prepare accordingly?
  • Posted by David May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    On golf courses, people do naturally socially distance, it's a natural thing in golf. It's also a good form of exercise, which the government should be promoting.
  • Posted by graham59 May 05, 2020 at 13:07

    Golf courses imo would be far safer than going for a walk on a promenade for example it also is good exercise and good for mental health, social distancing would not be difficult even if you restrict it to a maximum of two people in each group
  • Posted by Fifewifey May 05, 2020 at 13:07

    Golf should be reopened as long as social distance can be maintained. The club house only open for toilets
  • Posted by Jimmywaugh May 05, 2020 at 13:12

    Clubhouse extra curricular activities must not be allowed or any socialising
  • Posted by BrianPirie May 05, 2020 at 13:20

    Golf can be played safely observing social distancing. Some people suggesting restricting to two balls only but no reason golfers can't play in three or four balls. Lockdown restrictions should be lifted now. There are people walking all over golf courses with dogs, kids buggies etc. Allow golf and let the members put money back into the clubs to keep them going.
  • Posted by lockdownlisa May 05, 2020 at 13:21

    important for physical and mental health and should be resumed ASAP with clubhouses remaining closed
  • Posted by pdm May 05, 2020 at 13:23

    Agree golf is possible, with maximum of two in group, online booking, no clubhouse facilities opening, other than for checking in, to eliminate possibility of spreading virus through contamination of handles, furniture etc.
    If playing with a partner, ideally it would be the same partner for every round played, again to reduce risk of spread of infection.
    Check in with starter would need installation of appropriate barriers, frequent cleaning of surfaces, and strictly enforced social distancing, to protect both golfers and starter.
  • Posted by twentyoneforever May 05, 2020 at 13:24

    Have not seen a convincing argument as to why it is unsafe to play golf with social distancing if shopping is allowed. Obviously bars and restaurants should remain closed. Limit to number of people in changing rooms.
  • Posted by ArchieM May 05, 2020 at 13:25

    Golfers can easily socially distance themselves and enjoy a round of golf whilst staying safe. There is not much difference between the golfers and all the walkers and families who are currently enjoying walking over the courses.
  • Posted by Ian4031 May 05, 2020 at 13:34

    Golf is a sport that you can undertake whilst easily maintaining social distancing guidelines. It should Initially be restricted to social golf only (no competitions) Maximum 3 ball and no clubhouse facilities with exception of toilets. The restrictions that were in place pre lockdown should remain re no flags on green and remove rakes in bunkers etc.
  • Posted by Chrisp May 05, 2020 at 13:37

    Support this completely. Golfers naturally keep a safe distance apart on the course for safety reasons anyway. Courses everywhere are being used by dog walkers and is hard for members to accept why they cannot walk the course because they have clubs rather than dogs. Clubhouse facilities to remain closed and the R&A recommendations to be adopted
  • Posted by dalrob1964 May 05, 2020 at 13:38

    Golf is good for mental and physical well being, unless you are really bad :-)

    keep clubhouses and locker rooms closed.

    maximum per tee time of 2 to keep speed of play high

    fees to be collected cashless with safety for staff the same standard as Supermarkets (screens etc)
  • Posted by Iain492630 May 05, 2020 at 13:39

    Totally agree. Golf in particular is ideal for exercise while practicing social distancing.
  • Posted by IainWallace May 05, 2020 at 13:42

    Golf has many physical and mental health benefits and it’s actually easier to socially distance on a golf course than walking or cycling on a pavement or foot path.
    Before many golf clubs go under and green-keeping staff and others lose their jobs (most Scottish golf clubs aren’t wealthy), please reopen as soon as possible. It’s the easiest sport in the world to do safely and at 2 metres apart.
  • Posted by Dawr May 05, 2020 at 13:44

    I would agree, with the proposal. Golf courses already being used to exercise. Playing golf means everyone follows the same basic route and can observe social distancing.
    Golf clubs need to maintain their membership and encouraging open air exercise can only be good for physical and mental wellbeing.
    Clubhouses and facilities are further down the line.
    Golf is an activity strongly associated with Scotland and a return would be a positive message.
  • Posted by SJH May 05, 2020 at 13:48

    Easy to maintain social distancing - no different to walking in that sense
    10 minute intervals
    4 people in a group can easily keep social distancing guidelines in check
    Starter staff can stay behind screens
    Flags and rakes can remain untouched if needed
    Clubhouses and pro shops remain closed to start with in first phase
    Great exercise and good for mental health
    Keeps the clubs active and restarts, albeit slowly, a huge section of our tourism economy
    Part of our national and cultural identity
  • Posted by Alasdrum May 05, 2020 at 14:53

    Golf is safe as social distancing is so easy.
  • Posted by CJ1993 May 05, 2020 at 15:38

    It makes more sense for people to be able to use golf courses for walking or running right now. The pavements are so narrow, it's difficult to socially distance. If golfers used the courses, the numbers that could safely use these areas would be greatly reduced. Most people don't golf nor have access to the expensive gear, this would cut off areas to people who are less likely to have gardens to make more space for people who probably do.
  • Posted by GordonI102 May 05, 2020 at 17:10

    Completely agree. I have no idea why golf courses have closed when they have demonstrated many ways in which social distancing can be maintained
  • Posted by brennamiller May 05, 2020 at 20:10

    Helps improve mental health and allows people to exercise whilst remaining socially distant other than other sports such as football.
  • Posted by steves01x May 05, 2020 at 20:16

    Not a golfer, walk passed a couple courses yet they are closed? Cant see any issues - im sure most will be happy even with out a club house for a pint after wards just to get back out.
  • Posted by SIMONKERR May 05, 2020 at 20:35

    Golf is ideally suited to comply with social distancing rules. Golf depends on golfers self policing so they will take great delight in complaining to each other if someone’s gets too close, it’s in our DNA.
  • Posted by Nelly May 05, 2020 at 22:45

    I agree that golf can comply with the social distancing rules already in place. Importantly this applies to green staff who maintain the course who can with minimal changes implement these rules while carrying out their duties.
  • Posted by imcdonald5 May 05, 2020 at 23:23

    To be able to go out enjoy a few hours in the fresh air safely social distancing would be a great relief from the current lockdown. Golf seems to be one of the safest socially distanced sports there is. Ireland is lifting restrictions on golf in mid-May and I would like to see us following the Irish example. Some additional guidance could be put in place that golf clubs could monitor such as three-balls maximum, time spacing such as 10-minute intervals between tee times and marshalls out on courses ensuring social distancing is being observed properly.

    Just before lockdown my club brought in rules such as leaving the flag in the hole being compulsory, raising the depth of the hole to enable easy retrieval of holed putts etc. Scottish Golf have good ideas to share with clubs to ensure the safety of golfers during the epidemic.

  • Posted by wctait May 06, 2020 at 07:11

    Golf is good for exercise and mental health.

    It is easier to manage social distancing on a golf course than it is in a retail shop, manufacturing plant or school.

    The governing body already has rules set out for restart.

    Would generate no more traffic and probably less than a well known DIY store that is open and queued every day.
  • Posted by Dawr May 06, 2020 at 10:55

    All comments very positive, with regards to physical and mental well being. Golf is known for its etiquette and observances of rules, would lend itself to a starting point for a return to some normality. Give some hope of a return to some form of normality.
    The only draw back I can see is the compliance with travel restrictions. Looking around the roads are certainly busier than they were three weeks ago.
  • Posted by M_Ross_54 May 06, 2020 at 11:26

    Very low risk activity with clear upsides for physical and mental health. Should reopen on a limited basis tomorrow!
  • Posted by gfc2201 May 06, 2020 at 11:56

    Absolutely no reason not to allow golf. May even see an upturn in those wanting to participate in a sport that has been struggling to attract new players.
  • Posted by StevieMorrison May 06, 2020 at 14:56

    I am actually astonished at the number of people commenting that this is important and or a good idea! There are FAR more important things than golf for heavens sake! Opening golf courses is NOT a priority!
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 15:11

    Completely agree.
  • Posted by PeterCowen May 06, 2020 at 22:01

    I am the club captain at West Lothian golf club with members all ready to exercise and physically distance. Our PGA pro and greenkeepers are ready work within industry recommended guidelines. Golf is a self policed game and can be practiced safely with some relaxation of lockdown.
  • Posted by MisterC May 06, 2020 at 22:35

    Total agreement with many comments here. Golf is great for exercise, vitamin D from the sun, meeting people outside your family at a safe distance as prescribed by the governments. Great for mental health and well being. Total win win.
  • Posted by GeoB May 06, 2020 at 22:48

    I am now of the opinion golf courses should open under certain restrictions
    Book time on club BRS booking system - no walk ups
    Arrive at club 10 mins before tee time
    Hand sanitise before round
    Change in car park
    Two balls only
    10 min tee Times
    All course furniture removed.
    Do not touch pins
    After round head straight to car
    Hand sanitise after round
    Head home

    We could do 2 balls for say 2-4 weeks or until R number is further reduced then 4 balls introduced

    It is worth remembering this virus has killed over 30,000 people in UK there is no room for complacency or arrogance
  • Posted by Stenho May 07, 2020 at 08:13

    One of the first steps back to normality should include reopening golf courses with appropriate distancing conditions. This will generate physical and psychological benefits to participants.
  • Posted by borisjlives May 07, 2020 at 10:28

    You know what, yes, go fill up your car with petrol, pay the cashier with cash and get some change, buy a sweetie to eat on the way round the course, never mind that someone else picked it up and coughed on it before putting it back. Nip round to your mates house and pick him / her up too and have a jolly time on the way to the course. use the toilet at the clubhouse (who cleaned that ?) and play your round.
    back to the clubhouse for another pee and then both of you back in the car and a jolly time all the way back to your mates house where he is met by his wife and kids, then drive home and tell your family all about your great adventure.

    So infection risk in the garage, maybe a shop or two, between yourself and your mate in the car, from surfaces in the toilet and all the doors you go through, and then you take all that home to the wife and kids and so does your mate... it's hardly social distancing.
  • Posted by Montgor May 07, 2020 at 12:41

    In my opinion we should be planning to open golf courses. Golf course members are disciplined in the 1st place so I would not envisage any push back in following rules regarding social distancing. I do not agree with some other comments as in playing in 2 ball groups only. My recommendation would be 3 ball format. This means continuity for groups already in 3's or the 4 ball can split to 2 x 2. As players will travel individually by car (most times except family), the number of cars in car park may increase. Therefore the available car parking should be part of the calculation for tee times. I would see no problem with 10 minute tee times. We should also limit the time the person is on site for example only arriving 20 minutes before play. Clubs will also have to create a safe route to clubhouse toilets, signage etc.
  • Posted by DForr May 07, 2020 at 14:08

    Golf courses should be allowed to open if they wish to as long as proper distancing is followed, which should be relatively easy to manage given the nature of the course & activity.
  • Posted by AndrewRichmond May 07, 2020 at 14:21

    Golf is one of a small number of outdoor activities that can be accommodated relatively easily while still maintaining social distancing rules. Golf clubs can ensure all guidance set nationally is implemented locally. Golf players are very used to following strict rules and therefore compliance can be assured with a high degree of certainty. So golf can be restarted with low risk of infection spread, high risk of compliance, high benefit to mental and physical health.
  • Posted by eve3981 May 07, 2020 at 15:12

    It should be quite feasible for Golf Courses to reopen applying social distancing rules.
    Perhaps limiting the competitions to 2 ball for a month at first or restricting tee off times. All clubhouses to remain closed for the time being. Golf is a great way to take exercise and by its nature, a respecting social distance sport. Many Golf Courses struggle financially and if they lose the rest of this season some may never manage to reopen. Most courses have been maintained and are ready to open now.

  • Posted by NKP24 May 07, 2020 at 18:30

    Golf is one sport among a few that can be completed safely. Restrict any opening to members or seasons ticket holders only and follow R&A guidelines and it won't affect covid spread. The NHS is not currently overwhelmed so any extra travelling involved for local golfers wouldn't impede the ability of the NHS to carry out its role.
  • Posted by barwellfleet May 08, 2020 at 08:04

    It is clear that whilst playing golf I would feel at less risk than when I'm at the supermarket. I don't see why I would need to touch any surfaces which may have been touched by another person, yet every item on the shop shelf may have previously been handled. Playing golf presents an extremely low risk, yet is great for mental and physical health.
  • Posted by Tikkihan May 08, 2020 at 09:07

    Agree with many of the sentiments expressed in this forum. The increasing measures put in place by golf courses prior to shut down would provide the reverse route back to opening with conditions to eventually achieve a return to 'normality'. Might have to consider a 'solid' target instead of a 'hole' to avoid repeated touching of a surface to retrieve the ball. Clubhouses can be reconfigured to enable access to toilets but shut down social spaces. The physical, mental and financial benefits of reopening golf courses far outway the risks.
  • Posted by billy1999 May 08, 2020 at 11:34

    Prior to the lockdown golf courses had taken steps to socially distance and this was adhered to. Use of online booking and avoiding large groups would easily be achieved. It’s now time to restore this is a safe and considered way.
  • Posted by Rave165 May 08, 2020 at 12:35

    I have found golf courses are great to run on and for family outings.

    I also believe that more people are currently using them than would be if they were open only to golfers.

    Re-opening them would exclude the new users of golf courses and would put more pressure on parks by moving these groups there.

    Please keep them shut so that non-golfers can continue to use them. It is preferable to exclude one group (golfers) than allowing golfers and excluding everyone else as was the norm before COVID-19/
  • Posted by Alsabhoy May 08, 2020 at 13:06

    Golf facilities should open again due to people already using them as walking , running and dog walking areas so seems double standards if someone is not allowed to walk around with golf clubs. Golf can be very safe if a few procedures are followed e.g. no flag, social distancing and club houses remain closed and locker rooms managed same as some supermarkets i.e. limit amount of people etc.

    Could be a Maximum of 2 ball games but this should not be an issue with golf as long as social distancing is respected.

  • Posted by stevenf82 May 08, 2020 at 14:15

    Golf should return at the home of golf.

    Doing so aligns directly with the SGs CV19 Framework principles in the following ways:

    Safe: Through introducing the R&A Safe Golf principles golf can take place in a way which minimises the risk of CV19, which in turns ensures minimal risk to the NHS ane care services.

    Lawful: Through a relaxation in the essential travel, golf would be lawful.

    Evidence-based: Evidence is clear that golf and the associated exercise is beneficial for both body and mind.

    Fair & Ethical:  Enabling golf to take place will correct the perceived issue of fee paying golfers not being able golf but members of the public being able to travel actively across the land.

    Clear: By endorsing golfs 'safe golf' approach, it will ensure the SG is aligned with key influencers across the sport.

    Realistic: There are clear plans for the safe return of golf, including removal of shared on-course equioment. This will ensure golfs return can be viable and effective.

    Collective: The principles of safe golf have been agreed across all key golf stakeholders. Indeed, by the SG taking a leading role on this topic across the UK will help to enhance its reputation and would be entirely appropriate given the role of the nation as the Home of Golf.
  • Posted by golforall May 08, 2020 at 14:34

    A thread that has sensible comments in abundance. I would suggest that it will be parts of the overall “lockdown policy” that have no sensible basis in fact that will lead to the surprisingly high levels of adherence fraying around the edges. Golf falls into this category. It makes zero sense not to allow it in a limited form (as proposed).
  • Posted by chizzy May 08, 2020 at 14:53

    The only argument I can see against reopening golf courses is the extra cars on the road that would be generated. We have all sorts of take away food shops and DIY stores reopening generating new car journeys so why not reopen golf courses too?
  • Posted by Glenvarloch May 08, 2020 at 15:45

    Social distancing is an inherant feature of golf already so allowing play will not cause difficulties in this respect.
  • Posted by DaveMac May 08, 2020 at 23:32

    I agree, the social distancing guidelines for safe golf have been established by the RandA and the Golf Unions.
  • Posted by Willietowers May 09, 2020 at 16:53

    Agree that golf has structures in place to allow the game to be played safely. Forget competitive golf for the time bring but the game per se has many benefits including to mental and physical health.
  • Posted by AndrewAnderson May 09, 2020 at 18:04

    Entirely agree - and I'm not a golfer.
  • Posted by Sugden May 10, 2020 at 07:40

    It is interesting to see people talking about inequality - of not being allowed to play golf while everyone else is allowed to enjoy the golf course walking, jogging etc. I would point to the flip side of this argument and ask that we value everyone else's enjoyment. Golf courses are often large green spaces within cities which are terribly lacking in that - made so much more evident during the lockdown. Yes, golf is lovely for those privileged members, but during the extreme measures of lockdown, shouldn't our priorities be on the mental, emotional and physical well-being of everyone? Keeping golf courses open to the public may hold greater benefits overall during this exceptional time.
  • Posted by AlexMD May 10, 2020 at 07:54

    Golf is not unique.
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