The UK Government has today provided clarification on outdoor recreation and rules on social distancing in England.
These will affect how golf can be played from Wednesday 13 May and, in particular, the configuration of groupings on a golf course.
Under new government rules released today (11 May), the following groupings will be permitted upon resumption of play:
Individuals playing golf on their own.
Two-balls comprising of individuals from different households
At the discretion of the golf club, members of the same household playing in two, three or four-balls.
Social distancing rules must be strictly adhered to at all times.
Government stipulates: “Government is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to: not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household; continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside your household; good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces; and those responsible for public places being able to put appropriate measures in place to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidance. People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish.
“You can only exercise with up to one person from outside your household – this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household. People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.”
Further clarification is being sought from government relating to the opening of professional shops and driving ranges as well as the carrying out of club fitting and coaching sessions.
The following organisations have come together to help golf in the UK during the COVID-19 crisis and, through the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, to work with Government to promote safe golf:
The Belfry; the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association; the British Golf Industry Association; England Golf; the Golf Club Managers’ Association; Golf Ireland; the Golfing Union of Ireland; the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union; IMG; The Professional Golfers’ Association; PING; The R&A; Scottish Golf; Syngenta; the UK Golf Federation; Wales Golf.