GOLFERS will be dismayed at the news that all golf courses will be forced to close during the third national lockdown in England.
Boris Johnson announced last night (Monday, January 4) that all sports and outdoor activities would stop in a bid to stop rising Covid infections caused by the new mutant strain.
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Will golf courses have to close under lockdown 3?
Yes – golf courses had to close on Tuesday, January 5 under the Government's strict new third lockdown.
The new lockdown will last for at least another six weeks.
Golfers had hoped that England would follow Scotland's lead, where courses have remained open despite the country entering its own lockdown.
However, golf courses in England were told to shut as part of a wave of strict new measures following a rise in Covid cases thanks to the new mutant strain.
The new lockdown rules state that outdoor exercise is permitted, but only with a member of your household, support bubble or one other person.
But all indoor and outdoor sports facilities – which includes golf courses and driving ranges – will not be allowed to stay open during lockdown 3.
Golf courses also had to close during the first lockdown at the beginning of last year and November's second lockdown.
In a statement, England Golf said: "England Golf – as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf along with other leading industry bodies – is extremely disappointed with the news, having made a strong case in recent months to keep golf open during the national lockdowns and in the regional tier system.
"It is with great regret that we share this news with you, but please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible."
When will golf courses reopen in the UK?
At present there is no official date for the reopening of golf courses.
However, the next Covid review is expected to be around January 13.
What are the new golf course rules in the UK?
A new list of strict protocols designed to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the coronavirus are in place when golf courses reopen.
The R&A – golf's governing body – along with other leading golf organisations and clubs have laid out a series of new rules for teeing off.
- Social distancing must be strictly adhered to at all times
- Individuals can play golf on their own, or two people from different households can play golf together
- Households of up to four people can play golf at the discretion of the clubs
- You will likely have to book tee time online
- Ten minute spacing is expected between groups and individuals on the course
- Club houses are expected to remain closed – so you will have to change into your golf shoes before arriving on the course
- People should bring their own carts, and buggies are likely to be unavailable
- Do not share equipment such as rangefinders or golf clubs
- Only touch your own ball
- Upside down flagstick cups will allow golfers to retrieve their balls without touching the flag
- Rakes, ball washers and other course furniture will be removed
- You should smooth sand in bunkers with your feet
- Do not shake hands before or after the game
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