Golf in coronavirus: A full guide to playing golf during lockdown

Following a speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, golfers are now able to resume their favourite hobby. On Sunday, Johnson announced people were now allowed to enjoy ‘unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise’ on one condition.

The PM said: “From this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

“You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.”

Johnson’s comments led to initial confusion within the golf community over what rules and guidelines will be enforced.

But England Golf has stepped in to provide clarity and Express Sport can reveal everything you need to know to play golf safely.

What golf groupings are people allowed to participate in?

  • Individuals playing golf on their own.
  • Two-balls with players from different household
  • Two-balls with players from the same household
  • At the discretion of the golf club – Three or four-balls with players from the same household

Can you play with someone from a different household?

A golfer can be accompanied by a person from outside their household.

But the two golfers but keep a distance of at least two metres apart at all times.

Grouping of two, three or four golfers cannot be joined on course by anyone else.


  • Golf courses tips: How to use a rangefinder

Can you use the facilities in the clubhouse ie putting green?

Clubs are advised to keep the practice areas closed unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.

Clubs are to have procedures in place for the practice putting green, for example giving priority of use to the players in the next group due to tee off.

The clubhouse and locker room facilities are to remain closed. However, access to toilets may be allowed by the club/facility.

Are people over 70 able to play?

This decision is down to the individual golfer. The advice for clinically vulnerable groups remains the same. If you are in this group you are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.

If you are living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at and exercise at home.

Can pro shops open?

Under recent guidance from the government relating to small retailers, pro shops cannot open to operate any “over the counter” transactions.

It is permissible for their premises to be open in order for tee-time booking systems to be successfully operated. Strict social distancing guidelines must be followed.

Can PGA professionals and clubs provide tuition/coaching?

The UK Government has confirmed that only one-to-one coaching is permissible under strict infection control measures, observing social distancing and must take place outside.

In order to comply with this regulation, you should enforce strict hygiene measures and it is recommended that PGA professionals complete a comprehensive risk assessment and refer to the coaching guidelines on the PGA COVID-19 resource hub.

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