To open or keep golf courses closed? Some of the changes golfers will encounter

There's been a plea from golf-playing South Africans to open golf courses around the country during the nationwide lockdown.

From 1 May, South Africa moved to lockdown Level 4, which allows its citizens to participate in outdoor exercise - excluding golf - limited to between 06:00 and 09:00 within a 5km radius of their home.

Former Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs caused a stir on Twitter when he suggested golf courses should be opened if public transport is made available.

"If public transport is fine surely golf courses can be opened, just no sitting around at clubhouse after the round. Better than nothing," he wrote.

Sport24 reported last week that the Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa is considering allowing golf to return behind closed doors.

On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that most of the country will drop to Level 3 by the end of May, but some parts with higher infection rates of Covid-19 will remain at Level 4.

Level 3 involves the easing of some restrictions, including social activities. 

According to the BBC on Wednesday, in England the government eased lockdown measures pertaining to recreational sport with golf courses reopening across the United Kingdom.

However, governing bodies in England formulated various protocols to make sure that golf was safe amid the coronavirus restrictions.

Here are some of their new restrictions (according to BBC Sport):

- When teeing off, your playing partner needs to be 2m away 

- No more than four people are allowed on the putting green

- Rakes have been removed from courses, with players needing to smooth over the sand with their feet

- Courses have decided to fill the hole (see image below), which prevents golfers picking up the ball while touching the surface area

- The flag stick is not allowed to be touched or moved

- Clubhouses are closed

Do you think golf courses should open in South Africa? Let us know on Twitter - @Sport24news

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Images: AFP

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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