The coronavirus is on the biggest events to happen around the world in many years. It has impacted our lives in so many ways and one of those is playing golf. Currently, all golf clubs and course are now closed. When it comes to London, and the UK. But this will pass, and restrictions will be lifted.
But what should you know about how to play golf amid the coronavirus concerns? And how can you safely play the game if you aren’t in a lockdown situation, say in the USA?
Why playing golf is okay
We will preference all of this by saying that if you live somewhere where you are told NOT to play golf under any circumstances, follow that advice first.
However, if you are in a situation where you can play but are unsure whether you should, let’s take a moment to consider it. Golfposer past research showed there’s a strong case that playing golf in any kind of stressful time is a good thing. The physical activity, the mental focus, these help us to get away from everyday life stress and change our pace.
Golf is a natural game to embrace social distancing because you are playing your own round and don’t need to closely interact with other people. Because it is played outdoors, this also helps to reduce the risk by putting all that fresh air between you and other players.
Why are tournaments being cancelled?
One question golfers are asking is if it is okay to play their game when professional tournaments were all cancelled, even before lockdown measures came into place. But the answer to that means we need to consider why tournaments were cancelled.
Think about a tournament situation – there are often thousands of spectators around the course, gathered in clusters to watch the players. There are also stewards and other security staff dotted around to look after them. This is the big risk in coronavirus terms – these clusters of spectators and security personnel who aren’t social distancing because there isn’t enough room.
And this is the primary reason why sports of all kinds have been called off. The risk of having thousands of people in close proximity is simply too risky. Some sports could continue without spectators although this is never the same. Added to this is still the risk to staff needed to run the events – so this is why tournaments have been cancelled.
Social distancing on the course
For the ordinary golfer, taking to the course with two or three friends, then the risks are lower. There are no spectators, fewer staff are around to look after the course and these are often engaged in tasks such as green maintenance. The key for the golfer is to remember to social distance themselves from their fellow players.
When playing it is worth remembering the 2 metres or six feet rule. So, when you are waiting for each other to take your shot, stand a little apart and further away from the player than you would normally. When walking between holes, remember to keep more than a club’s length apart.
Senior players and coronavirus
Studies around the world show that the older we get, the more we are at risk of serious health problems from this virus. So senior players should maybe consider taking a break from the game until things settle down – no matter how much you love golf, it simply isn’t worth taking the chance.
For those who fall into the older but not senior category, common sense is the best approach. If you have underlying health conditions that make you more at risk from the virus, then give golf a complete break. If you don’t, then it may be worth playing but with those social distancing measures strongly in place.
When you are able to take to the course, keep up the prevention measures we are all learning for a while to be safe. Things like washing hands regularly, carrying wipes to clean club grips and other items you hold and trying to touch your face as little possible should be continued for some time, just to be safe.