Is it time to allow people back to play golf? With many becoming ever more frustrated being confined to their own homes, there comes a time where the government will have to allow certain aspects of society return to action.
In the world of sport, with large crowds at events and close physical contact in many sports, the risk of returning to normal would be relatively high. However, not every sport involves physical contact or big crowds. Anyone familiar with the world of local amateur golf, if fully aware that it is a sport which could easily adapt to social distancing measures.
For those not fully up to speed with the way golf is arranged, here are some of the already existing rules of golf which ensure people are kept apart:
- A maximum of 4 people are allowed to play together called a group
- Each group is given a specific time which they start their round, usually in ten minute intervals
- A typical round of golf will take 3-5 hours depending on the size of the group and the speed of the players
- Groups are kept apart on the course, as one group must wait until the group ahead has moved along before they can proceed
- Within each group, players follow the path of their own ball
- If two or more players in a group have to play from positions close to each other, it is already the custom that one player would stand well away until the other has had their chance to play
- At any given busy time, a golf course would have no more than 150 people on it, spread out over approximately 150 acres of land.
Even leaving local club competitions aside, most golfers enjoy the experience of playing a leisure or practice round. Often players play these rounds on their own or in a group of 2, with a friend or relation. It is very easy to play a round of golf, and avoid coming within 2 metres of anyone else. In other words, golf is one of the few sports where social distancing can be easily practiced.
At a time when all sporting and leisure activities have been curtailed, allowing golfers to return to play would be a very low risk move, which would have many positive benefits for people across County Wexford and throughout Ireland.
This move would also bring obvious health and fitness benefits, along with financial benefits. The Irish Times reported in 2017 that consumers spend €540 million a year on golf, while almost 10,000 people are employed in the sector.
There are many golf courses spread across Co.Wexford:
Abbey, Fethard (Par 3)
Ballinteskin (Par 3)
Blackwater (Par 3)
Rathaspeck (Par 3)
St Helen’s Bay
Tara Glen (9 hole)