The Coronavirus pandemic may be slowly fading, but its fallout will affect our lives in the near and far off future. We have to get used to doing things differently, and that includes sports as well. 

golfer wearing facemask

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But don’t think that different rules are going to apply only to contact sports. Golf is not an obvious victim of these rules, but there are plenty of new rules and safety measures you should be aware of.  If you’re a golfer, you’ll have to obey various new restrictions, both in terms of booking and the game itself. These restrictions also apply to all of the golf clubs.

So, before you go to the golf shop online, and gear up to go to the links in real life, you should know a thing or two about the new set of rules. Here is some useful information on how golf rules have changed under Coronavirus restrictions. 

On Course Adjustments

All golf facilities in the country have to set up their courses according to new rules. That also includes on-course items. For example, all rakes and ball retrievers have to be removed as well as benches and bins. 

And if the facility can’t remove some objects, it has to cover them or display signs that warn against touching or sitting on them.

Moreover, golf facilities have to insert the hole liners that prevent the ball from falling into the hole. That makes it easier to pick up the ball without touching other surfaces. So, if you’re always angry about the ball not falling into the hole, get used to it.

Also, no more practice areas for now, and that includes practice nets as well. 

Before and During the Round

The booking system may differ depending on the golf club, but facility owners have to ensure that it’ll be entirely safe and sanitary. Also, keep in mind that the number of people allowed on the course may also be different for various golf clubs.

When you arrive on the course, you’ll have to keep all the social distancing rules. That may include closed toilets and locker rooms. Again, these rules may vary depending on the club, so check the information before you book the tee times.

You may prepare yourself for changing your clothes in the car park instead of using the luxury of a locker room. 

Now let’s get to the most exciting part. What rules should you obey during the round? Well, prepare for some changes.

First of all, don’t touch the flag. Players being able to putt with the flag still in the hole in the rule that comes back to 2019. The reason for that rule was speeding up the game, but nowadays, touching the flag is entirely prohibited for safety reasons.

Secondly, use your foot to smooth the sand. Usually, you’d use the rakes, but you won’t find them on the course right now. Moreover, some clubs even allow golfers to place the ball onto a better lie.

Thirdly, get used to the dirty ball. Keep in mind that all of the ball washers aren’t going to be available for usage. Also, regarding the balls you use, remember not to touch the other player’s ball if it’s not a person you share a household.

And of course, don’t forget about social distancing. You’ll have to keep the two-meter distance between you and the other player for the entire time. 

That includes buggies and trollies as well. So, no sharing. 

Forms of Play and Rules

But what about competitions? Can a golf course run a golf tournament? If you’re a competitive golfer, you can relax, and prepare yourself for a stroke play. The answer is yes, as long as the club obeys all the restrictions listed above.

Now, changes in a stroke play’s rules mostly apply to a method of scoring. The committee has to make sure that the form they pick won’t require any handling or exchanging of scorecards.

Keeping the score can be entirely electronic so that you won’t have to give your score to the committee physically. You’ll be able to text it or email it. It’s all up to the committee.

When it comes to the game itself, the rules are similar to the ones for non-competition rounds. No flag touching, no rakes, keeping two-meter distance, not touching the other player ball, etc.

For more information and for keeping yourself updated, contact the associations dedicated to golfers, who’ll be able to answer your questions much more thoroughly.

Summary

The golf is back, and even though it hasn’t come back to the traditional forms and rules of playing yet, it’s terrific information. Also, keep in mind that these restrictions won’t last forever, and maybe soon you’ll be able to play like before the pandemic.

Some golf courses might not even have these restrictions in place, but you should think about following them nevertheless – better safe than sorry. 

What are you waiting for then? Get your cues, update your gear, book a tee, and play a few rounds. Just make sure you follow all the restrictions. Remember that they exist for a reason, and that reason is your health.