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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.

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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. 

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“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.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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