The Welsh Government has followed the lead of advice in England by declaring that golf courses across the country can reopen once again from next Monday, according to an update from Wales Golf today.
The guidance differs from that given in England, however, as it details that golf can only be played with members of one's own household rather than with other club members.
Following recent Welsh Government announcements and the revision of certain Covid-19 related restrictions golf clubs are permitted to open if they so wish. It is entirely at each golf club’s discretion as to whether they choose to open and if so when they choose to do so. We would advise that clubs that do wish to re-open do not do so immediately so as to ensure they have sufficient protocols in place to adhere to these guidelines, which we will be on hand to assist with. This would allow for a managed and co-ordinated reintroduction of golf across Wales from next Monday 18 May at the earliest.
The following information has been taken from the Welsh Government’s website and it helps explain in more detail the regulations in place:
Will golf courses reopen?
Under our guidelines, golf courses are not listed as a business or premise that must remain closed.
“The regulations state that exercise should be done locally, which means people cannot drive to exercise outside their local area; people also cannot exercise with anyone other than a member of their own household. More than two people congregating in a public place is regarded as a gathering, which is an offence under the regulations."
“We are continuing to prepare for the future, working with our partners and stakeholders. We would expect Wales Golf, working with the R&A and other UK governing bodies, to monitor the situation in England closely where golf will be permitted from May 13 and prepare detailed protocols for a potential partial resumption in Wales when the conditions are right."*
Can I drive somewhere to exercise?
"In general, exercise should not involve people driving away from home to exercise. No journeys outside your local area should be taken to exercise in the countryside, at the coast or at other beauty spots, for example – many beauty spots have been closed to prevent people gathering. "
" However, people with specific health or mobility issues may need to travel a short distance from their home to exercise. For example, some wheelchair users may not be able to exercise immediately outside their homes for practical reasons. In such circumstances the journey should be to the nearest convenient accessible location. Our laws are clear that you must exercise alone or with members of your household."
What do we mean by local?
"People should not travel a significant distance from their home to exercise."
"We have deliberately not defined this more precisely as it could be seen to be arbitrary and it will also depend on the circumstances – what people perceive to be “local” in Cardiff on the one hand, and in Mid Wales on the other, could be quite different. "
“People are asked to exercise good judgement and common sense. If you live in Cardiff and have driven to Porthcawl to exercise on the beach, you haven’t stayed local.”"
Of course, it is likely that these guidelines may be subject to change or adaptation in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to Golfalot and Wales Golf updates in order to keep track of the latest developments.