Golf courses in Wales could be allowed to reopen as soon as 7th May when the next stage of the UK lockdown finishes, according to a Daily Mail report over the weekend.
It is also expected that similar guidance will be given to golf clubs in other parts of the UK over the next few days, the report states.
Clubs and courses have been closed since 24th March when the Prime Minister ordered the lockdown across the nation, but golf is one of the activities that has been expected to restart before most others due to the fact that it takes place outdoors, and social distancing protocols can be adhered to relatively easily.
If golf is to be allowed again in May, however, then there a number of strict criteria which must continue to be met:
Only social golf will be allowed, and in no more than two-balls. Bookings will need to be made online and at least a 10-minute gap will be required between tee times.
It is likely that clubhouses will remain closed, apart from the use of bathroom facilities.
In England, Chief Executive of England Golf Jeremy Tomlinson has reportedly prepared a leaflet titled 'Play Safe, Stay Safe' which will be administered to all golf clubs once they are given the go-ahead to open their doors to casual golf once again.
Speaking last week at a House of Commons Select Committee when asked about the possibility of golf being accepted as a form of daily exercise, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden commented:
"We are gathering the necessary information. In respect of all sports, I want us to ease restrictions as quickly as we are able to, but that has to be consistent with the public evidence and guidance."
As expected, this will not yet be a cure for the financial struggles that many golf clubs will be experiencing due to clubs being shut, with no income coming in from competitions or food and drink at the bar.
However, it is at least a positive step in the right direction that clubs are now able to plan for the time when courses are reopen and indicates one of the early stages of things returning to 'normal'.
What are your thoughts on this? Does 7th May sound too early to allow golfers to play again, or should it count as a safe form of exercise if properly controlled? Comment below!