Better give those grooves a deep clean. It seems as though golf’s return is imminent.
Rumours are intensifying that the UK government could be set to announce an easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions next week, with the country’s courses being allowed to re-open for play from Monday, May 11.
The BBC’s well-connected golf correspondent Iain Carter and veteran golf writer Alistair Tait have both tweeted today to say that they’ve each heard about a May 11 return to golf.
Hearing rumours of May 11 return for playing #golf again. and all down to what government will allow.— Iain Carter (@iaincartergolf) May 1, 2020
Put 11th May tentatively in your diaries. I’m hearing that’s the day some form of #golf may be allowed in these these isles.— Alistair Tait (@GolfTait) May 1, 2020
The French Golf Federation has announced that its courses will also be re-opening on May 11, with restrictions expected to be lifted on the same day in Switzerland and Spain.
Courses in Portugal, meanwhile, will re-open on Monday (May 4). New Zealand allowed its golf facilities to resume business earlier this week.
Earlier this evening, the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, announced that golf courses on the Emerald Isle will be allowed to re-open on Monday, May 18. The move forms part of a five-part ‘road map’ for how Irish society and the economy will re-open.
On behalf of the Golf Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies’ Golfing Association, GUI chief executive Mark Kennelly welcomed the news, saying: “The golf community in Ireland welcomes the Taoiseach’s confirmation that our clubs can reopen on a restricted basis in the first phase of the Government’s plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions.
"This means that golf will be one of the first sports to resume and will give golf club members the opportunity to return to play on a limited but safe basis.
“Golf offers the potential to play a significant role in the recovery from this crisis in public health terms. Our sport provides a valuable outlet for healthy outdoor activity which can be enjoyed with the appropriate safety measures in place.
“We hope that, later in the year, golf can also make a valuable contribution to economic recovery, particularly in the domestic tourism sector.”
On Wednesday, the R&A outlined a set of proposals for golf courses to safely re-open for play.