Golfers can remove flags and use rakes again as England Golf updates Covid-19 guidance amid relaxation of restrictions.
Golf clubs can remove “any restrictions around on course items” now following the latest coronavirus guidance from the governing body.
England Golf's amended ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ rules came into force after Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted the remaining coronavirus lockdown regulations in the country.
Standard holes, ball washers and shoe cleaners are allowed again along with the return of rakes and flag removal.
However, England Golf are recommending that all clubs continue to provide hand sanitiser stations throughout their courses and practice facilities.
Competitions and scoring can return to how they were pre-pandemic.
“Coronavirus-related changes to the rules of golf and all handicapping provisions that enabled the game to be played competitively during the period in which restrictions have been set are to be removed,” England Golf said in the three-page document.
It also advises clubs to consider “keeping a form of tee booking or player registration system in place”.
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Pro shops, clubhouses, hospitality areas, changing facilities and other indoor areas can return to pre-Covid normality, while, on course, the removal of rules around social distancing and numbers will mean “there are no restrictions on the golf course with regards to course furniture, sharing equipment, touching golf balls or the size of groups, beyond those set by the club”.
The wearing of masks will also become personal choice, with the Government simply recommending that people use sense and consider wearing them in crowded spaces.
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Golf courses reopened with pre-booked fourball play permitted. Takeaway food and drink only. Outdoor practice facilities can reopened and coaching sessions resumed on a one-to-one basis or in groups of up to six with appropriate measures in place.
Golf clubhouses and hospitality venues were allowed to reopen, serving food and beverages outside under the rule of six. Outdoor social areas were able to be used again and pro shops reopened their doors.
Locker rooms and changing facilities became available while self-catering breaks were also permitted with your own household, meaning some golf breaks were allowed. Indoor coaching facilities also reopened to individual users for one-to-one sessions.
Golf hotels and resorts reopened with golf clubhouses and restaurants allowed to welcome you back inside for food and drinks.
Six people from a maximum of two households allowed to dine and drink together. Indoor coaching extended to six people while the number of people allowed to gather outdoors will increase to 30.
All remaining facilities reopened with no limits on numbers or social distancing. Course rakes, divot boxes, ball washers and shoe cleaners allowed again along with the removal of flagsticks and the exchange of scorecards. Wearing masks indoors is now personal choice.