Playing Golf Under COVID-19 and an Update on the World Handicap System
Well, what a start to the 2020 Golfing year. First we have courses unplayable because of torrential rain and now, just when the season should be getting underway we have COVID-19 pandemic and total lockdown.
But, with the UK Government suggesting that we have passed through the first phase of the crisis, there is optimism that there may be an easing of some lockdown restriction.
The Golfing industry has taken this as very promising and several of golf’s governing and professional bodies have issued separate guidance to clubs on five main areas as the industry develops how the game could be played when lockdown restrictions start to be lifted, and bear in mind that Social Distancing and COVID-19 may be with us for a while to come.
Separate guidance statements have been released:
One from the R&A, one from England Golf, and a joint report from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), British Golf Industry Association (BGIA), British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association (BIGGA), Foremost, Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA), TGI Golf, and the UK Golf Federation.
The guidance covers everything ranging from bunker rakes to flagsticks, the number of holes we are allowed to play, and clubhouses being reopened.
You can read each statement by following the links below:
- Golf after lockdown: The R&A’s guidance
- Golf after lockdown: England Golf’s guidance
- Golf after lockdown: The PGA, BIGGA and GCMA’s guidance
The R&A statement suggests that, Clubhouses should be closed and competitions shouldn’t be played during the initial period when golf returns from the coronavirus lockdown and covers five main areas – course set-up, before, during and after the round and Rules of Golf related issues – after working with a range of UK bodies on how golf could be played when the government decides it is safe to begin easing the current restrictions.
On a lighter note, England Golf has today published an update to its information on the World Handicap System scheduled to be introduce in GB&I on 2 November 2020.
Their statement reads:
‘The hard work behind the scenes continues as we prepare for the launch of the World Handicap System in just six months’ time. Next week, we will roll out the latest stage of our education campaign to golfers ahead of the 2 November start date. There will be an easy to follow, step-by-step series on the key elements of WHS:
- An introduction to the World Handicap System
- Your Handicap Index
- Submitting scores
- Maintaining your Handicap Index’
You can read more by following this link:
Enjoy your weekend as much as you can under these unprecedented circumstances, stay positive safe and well and we all will enjoy playing golf soon; albeit, not quite in the format we are used to for the time being.