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coronavirus

Can we all just agree that Covid rules at golf clubs are getting a little out of hand?

The Angry Club Golfer is all for making golf clubs Covid safe – but it's all just too confusing now and he wants answers
 

Isn’t it marvellous to see Covid is still so discerning? This virus is a veritable Egon Ronay. Not door handles and desktops for Comrade Sars. No. It only dines out on flagsticks and rakes. Talk about picky.

Riddle me this. If swapping scorecards carries with it the imminent risk of hospitalisation, why is it fine to smear my digits all over a touchscreen?

Sticking a bottle of sanitiser and some kitchen towel on the side doesn’t really do the job if no one is using it.

Given that picking up a rake left next to a bunker is apparently playing a game of biological Russian Roulette, why doesn’t opening up the vending machine flap carry the same threat? I know which one gets more use.

Regardless of the slew of studies being spewed all over the internet pointing out that the risk from surface contamination might have been a teeny bit overstated, I’m not against regulations.

It’s the inconsistencies that madden me. To touch, or not to touch? That is, indeed, the question.

At some courses, you can’t spy a bin for miles around. It feels a bit like walking into an exclusion zone.

But at one place I visited recently, the rakes were visibly, and proudly, on display.

I don’t mind telling you, there was a little tingle of excitement as I picked up the offending object and happily started pushing sand about.

Though there was the furtive glancing for the imminent arrival of the Covid police.

I feel like Mason Mount in the tunnel at Wembley. Something’s still going on, but no one really understands quite what it’s all about anymore, everyone seems to be doing something different, and logic has long since left the room.

The only certainty – July 19 or not – is that we’re going to be living with this long into the winter. Let’s use this time now to reassess, and to see if guidance brought in during the panic-stricken hurricane of those first few months still applies. Or is indeed necessary.

Because that’s the problem with advice. Eventually, people just ignore it.

Do you agree with the Angry Club Golfer or, as usual, is he way off base? Give him both barrels in the comments. You can tweet him too.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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