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england golf

Can we play golf in fourballs when golf courses reopen?

Scottish Golf and Wales Golf have followed England Golf in allowing three and fourballs as lockdown restrictions ease across Great Britain
 

Please note: This article about playing fourballs is from the first lockdown. Click here for the February 2021 update.

They’ve had to be patient, but golfers in Scotland can finally resume their fourballs after Scottish Golf gave the green light.

Three and fourball play returned in England on June 1 after prime minister Boris Johnson – outlining easing to coronavirus lockdown restrictions – paved the way by saying groups of up to six would be able to meet outside.

Scotland followed suit on July 10, with clubs able to offer indoor hospitality “subject to maintaining physical distancing and appropriate hygiene routines” from July 15. Face coverings must be worn by members of the public when entering professional shops and retail facilities.

In a letter to member clubs, Scottish Golf chief operating officer Karin Sharp said: “At this time there remains no change in stance on the playing of competitive golf, with only club competition permitted despite the relaxation of travel restrictions.

“This decision is consistent across all sports and is based on the continuing premise that we are operating under an extension of exercise and not a return to sport.

“All clubs are asked to continue to respect the government position in this regard and not seek to jeopardise the image or trust in the golfing community by overlooking this key aspect that is applicable across all amateur sports that are currently operating.”

Meanwhile, clubs in Wales can allow three and fourballs from July 13.

Wales Golf said outdoor group coaching sessions can restart safely while following the Welsh Government and industry guidelines.

The body also announced food and beverage can resume operating an outdoor service only providing they follow Welsh government advice including Test, Trace, Protect.

England Golf, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf all say club competitions can be held “provided social distancing and safety regulations can be strictly observed at all times” while all three recommend a minimum 10-minute interval between tee times.

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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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