Resumption of Golf

Golf is a great source of outdoor exercise and has the ideal conditions to maintain social distancing rules whilst allowing players to participate in a much needed sporting activity. The R&A have clear guidelines on how to ensure no contact with on course equipment such as the removal of bunker rakes and raised cups on greens to ensure no contact with pin. These measures eliminate physical contact with the exception of each golfers personal equipment. Other measures to ensure safety: Clubhouses will of course remain closed Golf play should be restricted to registered club members only with no visitors allowed Most club memberships consist of people who live locally keeping travel journeys to a minimum

Why the contribution is important

As our weather improves and more frequent outdoor activity is one of the relaxation measures outlined in the Scottish Government framework for decision making this should be one of the easiest sports to re-introduce with the absolute minimum risk for participants. It will help greatly in ensuring people can spend valuable time out of doors, be beneficial to people's mental health and well being as well as allowing safe social interaction whilst adhering to the important distancing rules.

by Astron on May 05, 2020 at 01:24PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 95 votes

Comments

  • Posted by Alasdrum May 05, 2020 at 14:58

    Fully agree with this idea.
  • Posted by Gdubfunk74 May 05, 2020 at 15:18

    Golf can easily be played while observing sensible social distancing. The frame work for golfing safely was already in place prior to the lock down.
  • Posted by JohnMorton May 05, 2020 at 15:22

    Sensible idea, simple to implement as well. Club can restrict to members only with ease
  • Posted by Mck2019 May 05, 2020 at 15:31

    Golf is a sport that any member of the population can participate in. Whether private member clubs or municipal courses, golf has proven physical and mental health benefits to those who play. As well lending itself ideally to social distancing, even prior to lockdown, golf required you to use your own equipment, no physical or close contact and Has restricted numbers on who can play in groups.
  • Posted by Gordo256 May 05, 2020 at 15:36

    Golf courses should open but with the limitations to travel it requires a sensible approach to who can play. Allowing non members to play through a booking system should suffice which can limit travel by playing your nearest course. Have a membership with a course on an island with no access due to restrictions. Paying visitors will also boost the coffers of clubs who are in need of the revenue
  • Posted by Aa May 05, 2020 at 15:38

    I don't play, but I see no reason that golf courses should not be allowed to open.
  • Posted by Gamble May 05, 2020 at 15:39

    Simple idea to get people out of the house again, most golfers were obeying the guidelines set out by the R&A before lockdown was announced
  • Posted by CJ1993 May 05, 2020 at 15:47

    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 AlexMD May 05, 2020 at 16:14

    I hate golf!!! However, I can see no logical argument for keeping courses closed. Much as I hate to say it, "Open golf courses".
  • Posted by GolfDuck May 05, 2020 at 18:25

    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 WillieB May 06, 2020 at 15:21

    Fully agree with proposal by Astron. Golf is a sport where it is easy to socially distance and it provides both physical and mental health benefits. PGA and R&A together with other leaders in the golf industry have agreed a comprehensive set of proposals outlining a safe return to playing golf.
  • Posted by bazabhoycsc May 06, 2020 at 15:46

    Fully agree with this proposal. It is essential to create motivation, exercise and mental health for thousands of people; young and old.
  • Posted by LeeF89 May 06, 2020 at 16:08

    Great idea, significant benefits whilst risks are minimised by following the new guidelines that have been set out and were already in place prior to lockdown.
  • Posted by rossmallon1995 May 06, 2020 at 16:09

    Please reopen golf courses. It’s great for mental health & physical well-being. It’s easy to social distance on a golf course. I’m all for it.... #BringBackGolf
  • Posted by locoantonio7 May 06, 2020 at 16:20

    Great idea, massive benefits and seems to have limited risks.
  • Posted by Ca11um May 06, 2020 at 16:20

    Get back playing ASAP for all our mental health
  • Posted by Dyet92 May 06, 2020 at 16:26

    I fully agree and support the idea. Our golf club has already introduced safe practices pre-lockdown and will reintroduce them upon resumption. Great exercise and mental health benefits as well, not to mention avoiding clubs closing permanently from lack of revenue. Open the courses.
  • Posted by Llebdivad May 06, 2020 at 16:46

    Fully agree with the proposal by Astron, these measures were in place at our club prior to lockdown David Bell
  • Posted by Graham1977 May 06, 2020 at 17:22

    Our course had already been adhering to measures introduced pre lockdown and would do so again. It is a sport where we naturally self isolate and as long as we travel individually there should be little to no risk in playing with a partner not from your household. Also, whenever flags and rakes are back in use we could have a requirement to use hand sanitiser after using them similar to what is happening with shopping trolleys to help prevent transmission of the virus.
  • Posted by AndyA May 06, 2020 at 18:02

    Given that golf lends itself to social distancing more than most other sports, I cannot see any good reason not to reopen courses as soon as practically possible. The health benefits, both physically and mentally far outweigh the limited risk of contracting COVID-19 on a wide-open golf course.
  • Posted by thelaff May 06, 2020 at 18:28

    golf is an ideal activity to introduce an easing of the lockdown rules. social distancing can be controlled and numbers contained by the club booking systems. it is a healthy, challenging pastime and allows social interaction while adhering to isolation rules.
  • Posted by ardee1312 May 06, 2020 at 18:38

    I am very much in favour of golf courses opening again. Perhaps the tee off intervals could be increased to ten minutes, with a max numbers of players per tee off time set at three. I do think members only has to be the rule, as there are, simply, not enough times available to accommodate extra traffic.
  • Posted by markf497 May 06, 2020 at 19:27

    My course had already adhered to these guidelines prior to the lockdown. It shouldn't be a problem for golfers to go back on the courses and continue to follow the guidelines. Easiest sport to social distance and get some exercise.
  • Posted by sherky May 06, 2020 at 19:29

    Reopening courses safely is entirely possible and the benefits to mental health in the current environment we’re living in will be huge.
  • Posted by Lebron6 May 06, 2020 at 20:30

    I am as keen as anybody to have my course reopen. However there is a danger that non golfers would start to ask why people can play golf and they cant go for a seat in the park
  • Posted by PeterCowen May 06, 2020 at 22:46

    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 alisond May 07, 2020 at 00:23

    I love how many comments there are on this site about golf! Got to be one of the top topics. Really makes me smile! Never seen the point in golf myself but completely agree that it's low risk and apparently would make lots of folks much happier which is a good thing.
  • Posted by UNITEDINGOLF May 07, 2020 at 04:44

    Simply a no brainer. Golf courses must be opened as a daily exercise and for mental health reasons. Simple to social distance.
  • Posted by ColW May 07, 2020 at 08:43

    As long as Rules by R&A and social distancing are strictly adhered to and it is safe to do so, open courses for play. These are difficult times for everyone. Opening courses will have a positive effect on mental health and well-being.
  • Posted by Lindag May 07, 2020 at 08:50

    I can see no reason why Golf courses should not be open with club houses still closed, social distancing in operation and stringent cleansing routines adopted. It may also be an idea to have a couple of days specifically for seniors to reduce the likelihood of contact for them as they are more vulnerable.
  • Posted by Lomaso May 07, 2020 at 09:06

    Don't see why not surley golf clubs can restrict to members only and social distancing would not be a problem after all where i stay in bathgate local council golf course had numpties out playing
  • Posted by Kenste May 07, 2020 at 09:21

    Cannot see any reason/s against this. Golf provides exercise can be played using social distancing requirements and will be great for mental attitude
  • Posted by Sashleah May 07, 2020 at 11:15

    I agree with the previous comments and will be great for people to get out and exercise. It will also help people’s mental health to get into a routine, speak to their friends and be able to get out of isolation for a few hours. Very rarely will you be in a position to be near your playing partners as you need to stay back when someone else is taking their shot and you do not walk right next to each other for the majority of the round.
  • Posted by Golfforall May 07, 2020 at 12:29

    Why the wait when measures in place before lock down. A sport or pass time that has benefit off exercise and wellbeing for all
  • Posted by MG1984 May 07, 2020 at 12:33

    With the new R&A rules/guidance in place, golf courses can be the safest way to get outside and exercise. It can also help towards keeping struggling golf clubs afloat during this difficult time.
  • Posted by campbellgjc61 May 07, 2020 at 12:44

    The risks are minimal when golfing. You are outside, it's mainly a one way system. I am closer to more people when walking down the street than I would come into contact with on the golf course. The R&A, PGA, SGU and Bigga have all put guidelines in place to ensure that all risk is minimised when golfing . We need to get the golf courses open again.
  • Posted by CD82 May 07, 2020 at 13:00

    Approve of this idea. With the use of technology playing golf again can easily be completed without the need for any social interaction. Bookings all online with payments taken. Limit travel distances then local clubs can thrive.
  • Posted by ianwpurves1944 May 07, 2020 at 13:28

    We already had the guidelines in play prior to the lockdown and they were working fine, start off with 2 balls going up to 3 balls after say 2 weeks to allow people to get used to the idea with 10 mins. between tee times, bookings through the club system only with maximum 2 tee times per person per week until the numbers wanting to play are confirmed then increase the number of bookings on a gradual basis until back to normal.
  • Posted by Bechki May 07, 2020 at 13:38

    Most Golfers have practiced social distancing since they started. I think the return of the return of Golf is one of the easiest ways to start easing lockdown. Clubs can keep an eye on what’s happening to ensure players safety and the clubs I know already have plans in place. Golf is great for both physical and mental health. Many sports will be unplayable for a long time but Golf is a great sport that should be playable now.
  • Posted by billsaunders May 07, 2020 at 13:42

    Golf courses should be opened as it should be easy to apply social distancing playing golf. Courses had already set up ways to eliminate contact prior to lockdown so should be able to introduce measures very quickly to allow courses to reopen under strict guidelines.
  • Posted by ContraryJoe May 07, 2020 at 13:55

    I am a golfer. Like others I am also keen to resume playing golf and I would agree there is a low risk if I could beam myself and one golfing buddy directly to the 7th tee and never come into contact with others. However, I do believe that a contrary opinion is required to counter the possible view that golf is ‘no risk’ or at least a very low risk activity. Take one golfer who has the virus and is currently asymptomatic but can pass that virus to others. That person arrives in a crowded car park with others getting ready to play and passing to the first tee and from the eighteen green (albeit attempting to exercise social distancing). That person enters the clubhouse to use the toilet facilities, gets a coffee from the coffee machine, goes to the Pros Shop to buy a ball and pays by cash, tries out a couple of the clubs on show, purchases a bottle of water from a vending machine. These are all very typical activities that a golfer might engage in while visiting the golf club but, through those actions that one person will infect multiple other people. In turn those people will distribute that virus to multiple other locations potentially in a widespread distribution of communities - our own club has members from the Lothians, Central and Fife regions. I would argue that such an outbreak would rapidly become impossible to track, trace and treat. That one single golfer, at one golf club, could inadvertently be responsible for creating an outbreak that would require Scotland to lock down again - potentially for an even longer period of time depending on the rate and distribution of spread. Even if golf clubs completely close clubhouses and pros shops (and will they actually do so if courses are open, golfers are allowed to play, demanding facilities and clubs and their professionals are desperate for revenue?) there is still some risk from the congregation of members around the clubhouse and car park before and after play. I can see an argument that the risk is similar to going to the supermarket where social distancing cannot always be perfect and there is a risk of touching surfaces that others may have infected. However, the difference I see in terms of risk is that people are shopping very locally and an infection is also likely to be local and therefore easier to isolate, trace and treat. With golfers potentially travelling to and from much wider geographical locations, the risk is higher of a widespread infection that will prove impossible to isolate to one community and very difficult to trace and treat. Going to the supermarket is an essential activity to sustain life. Does the same apply to golf?
  • Posted by cammie May 07, 2020 at 14:06

    Golf courses should be opened. Golfers will adhere to any revised lockdown guidelines and clubs will take steps to develop course as suitable. This is a great exercise and golfers can enjoy the game while using distancing rules. Support the game Scotland is famous for.
  • Posted by JohnB May 07, 2020 at 14:22

    Golf is a sport that is played in accordance with the rules in place. Social distancing is merely an addition to our rules of golf to allow us to play the sport we love. Currently more and more people are walking the course without clubs families , non- members etc so adhering to social distancing and pre lock down rules we had in place would allow us to play golf in a completely safe manner. I would also limit the numbers of participants to maximum 3 balls and 10 minute intervals.
  • Posted by Sanchez87 May 07, 2020 at 14:38

    Get the golf courses open: improves physical and mental health; provides income for golf courses; keep clubhouses closed; adhere to social distancing. Simple.
  • Posted by golfnutpeter May 07, 2020 at 15:22

    Golf courses should be open to allow exercise while maintaining the government guidelines including social distancing. All the major golf authorities have published guidelines for all clubs to adhere to. These include, amongst others, keeping the clubhouse & professional shop closed and playing in, no more than two balls. I feel in playing golf it is far easier to maintain social distancing than going to a supermarket or B&Q.
  • Posted by Stagdad May 07, 2020 at 17:53

    This is clearly desirable and can well be accommodated in terms of safety and social distancing. Maximum two players together, and the Scottish Golf Union has all necessary safety angles already planned.
  • Posted by barwellfleet May 08, 2020 at 08:24

    It is obvious that managing the risks whilst playing golf is straightforward. The previous comment suggesting how dangerous golf would be, set out numerous scenarios which would not now occur. It is obvious that, in general, most of the population are showing some discipline around following pretty restrictive rules but to maintain that level of compliance requires that the rules are sensible and necessary and not just blanket 'bans' which can undermine public support. Activities like fishing, sailing, remote photography, hill walking, etc. fall into the same category and are extremely good for people.
  • Posted by beejay23 May 08, 2020 at 08:40

    I could not agree more. Open up golf courses ASAP.
  • Posted by Scotsman79 May 08, 2020 at 10:21

    There is no reason why the course can’t be open as social distancing can be done easily and no contact is needed , as long as the golf club stays closed and everyone stays within the guidelines . Going shopping is more dangerous than golfing .
  • Posted by ContraryJoe May 08, 2020 at 10:48

    After my previous submission I had a conversation with my wife. “Sweetheart”, I said, “I know that thousands of people are still catching the virus and hundreds are dying from it every day and we have bemoaned the fact that our incompetent government has failed, even yet, to put in place the necessary measures to monitor and deal with new outbreaks. However, I think this is just the right moment for me to meet up for four hours at a time with people from other places that might have a higher prevalence of Covid-19 and may even have the disease themselves, to take part in an exercise that is completely non- essential and will bring no financial benefit to either the club that I visit or the wider economy as a whole. But, listen, Darling, it could provide an added bonus. I could bring the virus back to our home to make the whole family seriously ill, that in turn will place additional stress on the NHS. Potentially that illness could lead to organ damage, long-term health problems or potentially even death.” Guess what? The wife said, “Yes dear, that’s OK”. However, she did add, “Provided that first, you self-isolate, as far away as possible, for the rest of our lives!”. Perhaps other golfers would care to have a similar conversation with their nearest and dearest. The prevalence of the virus in our communities is still at a level that means a lifting of restrictions will lead to spikes in infection and I believe that we do not yet have the means to monitor and control those hotspots when they arise. There will come a time for reducing restrictions and allowing golf under controlled conditions and I look forward to those days. Unfortunately, now is not the time.
  • Posted by JoeyJambo May 08, 2020 at 12:26

    Clubs are already losing members. If the lockdown continues to include golf (which makes no sense) then more people will cancel their membership and clubs are going to go out of business. Where is the common sense? If you go for a walk outside for daily exercise you can pass by literally tens of people. If you go on the golf course, you will hardly see anyone, let alone walk close to them.
  • Posted by simonnorris May 08, 2020 at 13:54

    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 - change.org/PlayGolfAgain
  • Posted by Tara May 08, 2020 at 18:31

    If golf course are reopened the club house / bars / restaurants should stay closed
  • Posted by at51golf May 08, 2020 at 23:19

    Golf is one of the few sporting activities which lend themselves to social distancing without significantly lessening the games enjoyment and the benefits gained from competitive play particularly during this difficult time for society. The self discipline and manners of the game lend themselves to successfully adhering to safe play.
  • Posted by Fendog81 May 09, 2020 at 09:55

    Totally agree with this idea. Golf can be played with friends and individually, i would be quite happy to throw the clubs in the car and walk round and hit a few balls on my own. Understand going round in pairs or fours brings its own risks...but social distancing can still be achieved in this scenario.
  • Posted by ContraryJoe May 09, 2020 at 13:32

    A number of posts on both this and other related ‘Golf’ themes lay considerable confidence in the measures recommended (like two metre social distancing) to provide adequate protection from the spread of coronavirus. While it is commendable that clubs and golfers are taking these measures seriously, and these will be of value for some time to come once we have control of the virus, the idea that clearly persists that these provide absolute protection needs to be challenged. Please see the points regarding social distancing, increased time between tee times and the concept of the ‘closed’ clubhouse as set out below. First, please let me explain that I am not arguing that we should never return to golf until everyone has been vaccinated and I accept that, at an appropriate point, we will have to resume normal activities, albeit with changes to the way we do them, and accept an element of risk exists wherever we go and whatever we do. However, I am clear that before we do so, the virus needs to be under control (I.e. low levels of new cases and deaths) and the measures are in place to track, trace and treat new infections. Sadly, as I write, this is still far from the case. Until that point, I am concerned about the argument that golf can resume whatever the conditions as I am forced to regard golf as a non-essential activity that still carries risk of spreading infection. 1. 6 feet enough for social distancing? MIT researcher says droplets carrying coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/30/coronavirus-social-distancing-mit-researcher-lydia-bourouiba-27-feet/5091526002/ The latest research by a leading expert (Lydia Bourouiba) of MIT indicates that a virus can be transmitted over a distance of 27 feet. Yes, that’s 9 yards. It is necessary to point out that there is a considerable debate among the experts about what constitutes a ‘safe’ distance and that the virus can be dangerous at 27 feet is not accepted by all. Please check out the link included above for a quick, simple, short-hand summary on the latest thinking. Others, such as USA Today that attempt to question the distance recommendations with organisations such as the WHO and CDC are either ignored or provided with stock responses pointing to scientific guidance that provides support for the current recommendations (also see article in the link). I conclude (my opinion) that these organisations do not wish to engage in discussion over the possibility that the recommendations are not adequate as they understand that asking people to separate by more than 2 metres will prove to be totally impractical. 2 metres has been selected as it provides the minimum distance that affords some protection and the maximum distance that is practical to observe in the majority of cases. Combine this with other research that has found the Covid-19 virus is detectable in the air for up to 3 hours after deposition then the message for me is clear: 2 metres does not guarantee safety. 2. Increased duration between tee times Although this appears to be a sensible idea to avoid congestion and assist the observance of social distancing, I believe it could actually cause problems. For example, take those who are still working and have limited time to golf. When they find that the non-golfers have taken up all the available tee times on the only occasions they can play, I imagine they will not be best pleased. Filled by a sense of entitlement and injustice, I envisage they will still go to the golf club on spec and will push in to play between the extended official tee times. This may result in a lot of argie-bargie, but, more important in this context, it means the possibility of congestion and a break down in social distancing. 3. The Closed Clubhouse When a non-golfer hears about a ‘closed’ clubhouse their obvious assumption is that the clubhouse will be completely off limits, locked and with no possibility of access. However, the golfers concept of a ‘closed’ clubhouse is completely different. This is clearly apparent from some of the other posts that can be found under ‘Golf’ topics on this site where there is a clear and explicitly stated assumption that golfers will still have access to locker rooms and toilets. This is particularly true for those (I estimate 30-50% of the members at most clubs) who keep their golf equipment in locker rooms that, in most cases, form part of the main clubhouse. Access to the locker room provides access to toilets. Access to toilets will, in many clubhouses, provide access to other club rooms, perhaps with facilities such as hot/cold drinks machines, food vending machines, gaming machines, pool table, darts board, decks of cards, dominoes, board games and books. The only things that are ‘closed’ in this scenario are the bar and catering facilities. Otherwise, this ‘closed’ clubhouse is an open playground for the deposition and transfer of the Covid-19 virus. Even restriction to just the locker room still provides opportunity for transfer of the virus as in most clubs it is necessary to gain access to the locker room by punching security keypad buttons and using the one and only handle to open the door. Let’s consider the club that decides it will completely close the clubhouse. That still leaves up to half the membership with their clubs in the locker room. Suppose the club says to those members, “we’re going to close the clubhouse but you have this two day period in which to remove your clubs”. Now suppose that the first person that goes to the club to retrieve their clubs is a highly infectious, asymptomatic virus carrier, who like everyone else, punches their access code into the keypad and opens the locker room door depositing the virus, that, according to recent studies of Covid-19 transmission, can remain detectable on surfaces for up to 72 hours. It seems to me not just possible but highly likely that many of the people coming after that first infected person who will touch those same surfaces will contract the disease. I assume it may be possible to mitigate this problem by using open doors with manned access, mandatory use of hand sanitizers for each person and frequent disinfecting. However, will all golf clubs recognise the steps necessary and implement them effectively?
  • Posted by EH92020 May 09, 2020 at 21:03

    Many comments on this idea that it provides for great social distancing Probably worth weighing up that with the greater number of the general public who are able to use these courses to exercise and avoid the overcrowded parks and open spaces in our cities. That"s all our families and friends.
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