Re-open golf courses for play with strict social distanding guidelines

As golf is an outdoor sport, it is inherently safer than many other sports and, with careful preparation and guidance for players, it could be reintroduced to allow people to use this as their exercise. From the various papers drawn up as draft guidelines, it is clear that the governing bodies and clubs are already taking this issue seriously with suggested guidance around arrival at courses, tee time gaps, maximum 2 golfers (initially), social golf only, distancing rules, removal of all potentially hazardous surfaces such as rakes, washers etc and strict rules around arrival and departure procedures in car parks (clubhouses initially remain closed).

Surely, there is much less risk if the rules are adhered to than a trip round a supermarket where social distancing inside presents several challenges. Golfers are keen to get back out and use their sport as their exercise and would recognise that continuance of golf, if approved, would only happen if the guidelines are adhered to.

It is definitely workable.

Why the contribution is important

To promote exercise and healthy pursuits while still meeting social distancing guidelines + it will show there is trust to allow the public to commence some activities as part of a gradual lifting of restrictions.

by thecaptain on May 05, 2020 at 03:46PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 97 votes


  • Posted by Rwhitehot May 05, 2020 at 15:59

    This is a must, clubs all over Scotland being abused with ppl not respecting the hard work and money that goes in the the course, also this exercise, easily to stay the recommended 6ft apart
  • Posted by stan1950 May 05, 2020 at 15:59

    fully agree
  • Posted by seonaid May 05, 2020 at 16:04

    Golf would seem one of the safer options, as it takes place outdoors and is not a team sport. It would boost the well- being of many.
  • Posted by trixie May 05, 2020 at 16:05

    I think this is a good idea for small numbers initially.
  • Posted by PadraigMc May 05, 2020 at 16:10

    I fully welcome this suggestion. There is an inherent unfairness in golf courses currently being used by people for their daily exercise while members are unable to undertake the same activity but with golf clubs! Golf must be the easiest activity to socially distance too!
  • Posted by CW1962 May 05, 2020 at 16:15

    Yes, would make perfect sense.
  • Posted by FGhighland May 05, 2020 at 16:17

    Seems feasible. Clubhouses should be treated as bars / restaurants though with social distancing almost impossible to guarantee.
  • Posted by GordonBowie May 05, 2020 at 16:18

    Golf surely 1 of safest sports to have social distancing. Too many courses being abused by people cycling, dog walking, family outings playing in bunkers making sandcastles etc, using the course aa a public play area, surely course cam be opened to members, most clubs have online booking tools, restrict to 10 minute intervals for tee times , maximum 2 players per tee time, clubhouses dont need to be open, change shoes in car or walk to course if close by, all very easy and members im sure can police if anyone ignoring the rules.
  • Posted by AKD May 05, 2020 at 16:18

    Fully support this idea. Golf is a safe sport, its outdoors and social distancing is easily accomplished. The clubhouse is a different problem and will need to have some area closed, i.e the restaurant and bar.
  • Posted by suemhadden May 05, 2020 at 16:23

    I totally support the idea of reopening golf courses. It is an easy sport to impose social distancing.
  • Posted by Redken May 05, 2020 at 16:31

    Tennis as well, singles at first, players are separated by a net.
  • Posted by elfismcphills May 05, 2020 at 16:32

    This should be allowed golf courses are easy to follow social distancing guidelines cap it at 2 per tee off. If this is done properly any golf course by it’s nature will have less people on it than in any supermarket at any given time. The benefits are tremendous in terms of fitness well being and without much risk.
  • Posted by Robert134 May 05, 2020 at 16:35

    Golf is a sport that can be played safely with social distancing being adhered to. I would suggest it is very realistic to have a group of 4 playing safely and meeting social distancing requirements.
  • Posted by HH1939 May 05, 2020 at 16:36

    This is definitely workable and I fully support opening golf courses. Golf is a very good form of exercise for all age groups and can be easily controlled. The clubhouse should be closed and probably only two ball games permitted to begin with.
  • Posted by SIMONKERR May 05, 2020 at 16:42

    Agree that opening golf courses safely should be a relatively easy task. Golfers tend to be sticklers for the rules and so will take great delight in enforcing social distancing.
  • Posted by JerryRE May 05, 2020 at 16:49

    I am drawn in two directions. Social isolation is a joke and should be vigorously enforce to get rid of the virus, along with testing and isolation. If this happens then I would give up my golf, in the short term, that I love. On the other hand if it is not going to be vigorously enforced then let's golf, it a very safe sport
  • Posted by thomasnixon May 05, 2020 at 16:53

    Fully supportive of this suggestion for all the reasons outlined by the OP. Golf courses could (and have been) very easy be adapted to make contact with other players and with surfaces non existent. Many courses had made these changes already, prior to SGU and local unions calling for courses to close and I believe (standing ready to be corrected on this) that came even before lockdown was imposed by government. Golf, it's governing bodies and golfers have demonstrated that they're ready, willing and eager to act responsibly, they should very shortly be permitted to get on with that.
  • Posted by AlanK May 05, 2020 at 16:59

    100% agree with other comments. I would suggest going even further and allowing 3 ball format which would mean regardless of how many in your group everyone gets a game.
  • Posted by JoannaMac May 05, 2020 at 17:09

    As golf is played outside and players are already well versed in agreeing to “rules” whilst playing, sticking to those safe distancing and other suggestions proposed by the R&A makes golf an easy sport to re-commence. If it means playing in 2’s to start with and keeping to 10 minute intervals with tee times, it would be an easy way to get people outside with the multiple benefits that this brings.
    Anyone breaching their own club rules to ensure all restrictions are adhered to could be easily dealt with by their club. A lot of work has been done by the R&A to comply and allow golf to return in some format. I think we should embrace this wholeheartedly.
  • Posted by Lambertos May 05, 2020 at 17:27

    Playing golf must be safer than visiting a supermarket! Distancing is straightforward and the vast majority of golfers are responsible beings.
  • Posted by codenamev May 05, 2020 at 17:38

    I'm not a golfer but it's madness this sport is not allowed and was banned in the first place ! Along with fishing ! This MUST be allowed to happen for summer !
  • Posted by AlanMc May 05, 2020 at 18:01

    golf courses should be re-opened as soon as possible. However, there needs to be greater clarity about what is allowed in terms of driving to locations for exercise purposes. Is it always under a mile, or any distance that takes less time than the intended period of exercise? For example, could I drive for 30 minutes to my golf club once a week, once golf clubs are allowed to re-open?
  • Posted by GolfDuck May 05, 2020 at 18:17

    Please reopen the Golf Courses. It is an exercise that is fully compliant with Govt guidelines - physical distancing and daily exercise.

    Why is it Ok for our golf courses to be used by walkers and joggers but golfers are not allowed to use the golf course.
  • Posted by Maximusdecimus May 05, 2020 at 19:17

    In full support with other comments. Have found it very difficult to accept its Ok to walk round my golf course but not to hit a ball .. Lets get back on the course in an organised responsible and safe fashion. Sneds

  • Posted by valkeri May 06, 2020 at 14:34

    I support the idea. As an outdoor sport played by 1 or 2 people it can be played safely. It will help participants health and mental wellbeing both of which are challenged by the lockdown
  • Posted by Mcleary1 May 06, 2020 at 14:34

    Electronic tee booking with clubhouses following same social distancing as restaurants when they open will allow exercise and activity for members.
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 15:17

    Completely agree.
  • Posted by Biffster May 06, 2020 at 16:31

    I agree and think closing golf courses in the first place was unnecessary since many clubs had already introduced social distancing in advance of lockdown. An additional unwelcome activity to add to those cited by GordonBowie on 5/5 is fly-tipping and even more can be seen on the golf magazine Bunkered's web site in relation to the goings on at Glenbervie.
    A newspaper today also suggested that over 70s could be restricted to one game a week on a specific, set aside day. This is ageist nonsense. Older people, like everyone else, have a wide range of activity and fitness levels and should be treated like the responsible adults they, for the most part, are.
  • Posted by WeeAl1902 May 06, 2020 at 19:09

    100% agree with this. Folk are out walking/running/cycling for miles (and let's not kid anyone on that folk are sticking to an hour) yet golfers cannot go out and do one of the sports where social distancing is relatively easy.
  • Posted by JohnWThompson May 06, 2020 at 19:51

    Agree with this idea - strict control on times and social distancing. If the concept of "bubbles" arises, allow people sharing a bubble to play together.
  • Posted by PaulWoodhouse May 06, 2020 at 20:31

    Agree 100%. Far more risk in a supermarket than on a golf course. Golf provides the physical & mental release many people crave in a totally safe environment.
  • Posted by Colin87 May 06, 2020 at 21:01

  • Posted by Hamsterpus May 07, 2020 at 00:11

    No-brainer. Get outdoor recreation restarted.
  • Posted by aliciaanddrew May 07, 2020 at 12:47

    Feel safer walking the golf course than out my daily walk where a decisions have to made based on other walkers.
  • Posted by simonnorris May 07, 2020 at 16:08

    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 simonnorris May 07, 2020 at 16:09

    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 simonnorris May 08, 2020 at 13:48

    There is huge support for the re-opening of golf.
    I started a petition just over a week ago and it already has 1360 signatures.
    Please have a look -

  • Posted by AlexMD May 10, 2020 at 07:59

    Golf is not unique.
  • Posted by IainMacIan May 11, 2020 at 10:03

    Look at idea: Restrict Sports / Touring Cycling - Equality!
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