The R&A, who organises The Open every year, has outlined the following groupings will be permitted upon resumption of golf this week:
Individuals playing golf on their own.
Two-balls comprising of individuals from different households
At the discretion of the golf club, members of the same household playing in two, three or four-balls.
Some of the organisation’s suggestions for golf courses to follow include:
All rakes and ball-retrievers to be removed.
Ball washers and drinking fountains to be covered up.
Benches and bins to be removed, covered or sign-posted in such a way that players don’t touch them.
All other removable items to be removed, except that stakes defining areas of the course can be treated as immovable obstructions.
Flagsticks can be retained but it is strongly recommended that a sign is put on the flagstick stating that it is not to be touched.
A method of inserting the hole liner to be used so not all of the ball falls below the surface of the putting green and can be easily retrieved by handling the ball only.
Practice areas, including practice nets, to be closed unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.
Clubs/facilities to organise a system of booking and allocation of tee times that ensures the safety of staff and golfers.
The maximum number of golfers in a group per tee time to be confirmed by the club/facility and must be in accordance with any government requirements.
There is to be a minimum of 10-minute intervals between tee times, but longer intervals may be more appropriate depending on the club/facility.
The clubhouse and locker room facilities will be closed. Limited essential access (for example to use the toilets) may be allowed by the club/facility.
Clubs/facilities to communicate in advance with golfers to advise on social distancing requirements that are being applied on arrival at the club/facility, for example not leaving cars until a certain time before their tee time.
Clubs/facilities to have procedures in place to ensure social distancing requirements in the area of the professional’s shop or starter’s building in advance of golfers teeing off.
No trolleys, carts or other items to be available for hire unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.
Clubs/facilities 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.
Both the R&A and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) include more details on guidance for golf course reopening on their websites.