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As the weather has turned from rain to blue skies in the Spring of 2020, thoughts have turned to the game of golf for many across the U.K. The R&A has been busy working with a variety of organisations in the development of rules governing the return of golf to the UK when the government deems it safe to do so.
Unlike English clubs who opened with less restrictions, Welsh golf clubs opened on May 18th with their own measures in place to ensure safety. One of the main differences in Wales is that golfers are only allowed to play with others from their household. This has led to tee times filling up quickly due to the number of golfers who are playing alone.
Another new rule on the return of golf in the UK, is that golfers can only play “locally”, with the term left to one’s interpretation. This rule has led to some confusion because many golfers drive to their local courses and it is in contrast to government guidelines that “exercise should not involve people driving away from home to exercise”. Many local golf courses are also found in rural areas where driving is a necessity, and golfers also tend to drive since golf bags are heavy.
Even though there is some confusion regarding transportation to and from golf courses, two actions all parties have agreed upon since the beginning of the pandemic are hand washing and surface sanitisation. These measures have been advised in every area of life and one would be hard pressed to find an expert who disagreed they continue to be two of the most important actions as more activities move towards reopening.
While toilets remain open in clubhouses, many golfers don’t feel comfortable going inside public buildings unless absolutely necessary. It is for this reason that St Mellons Golf Club recently set up an outdoor all-in-one mobile hygiene station for members to sanitise hands and surfaces which satisfies guidelines to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. These golf club hygiene stations are available in two designs. The first option is recommended for golf courses where hose pipe connections and drainage discharge points are available. This version includes push-operated taps which deliver the recommended 20 seconds of running water for ideal hand washing. The second option is perfect for locations where water is not available, providing one dispenser for alcohol hand gel and one for wet wipe sanitised towels. Golf clubs can even have their name engraved on the top of the unit if desired.
Hand hygiene and santisation remain important steps in the return toward normalcy. The R&A update on golf in England reiterates government guidelines citing, “good hand hygiene, particularly with respect to shared surfaces” as golf clubs reopen. These mobile hygiene stations help stop the spread of the virus for golf courses and benefit greenkeepers, club professionals, golf facility managers, administrators and golfers alike