Since golf is back and unlimited exercise is now allowed, why do driving ranges remain closed and when can they open?

Golfers up and down the UK have been enjoying getting back on the fairways over the couple few days. Courses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are fully reopened, with Scotland not far behind, while one-to-one coaching is also allowed. But can driving ranges reopen?

The UK government guidelines simply stated the reopening of outdoor sports facilities were allowed. With many driving ranges under cover, this left somewhat of a grey area, and a statement from the PGA released on Monday in a bid to clear up the matter.

“Driving ranges have been constructed in a variety of different ways, with varying features of indoor and outdoor facilities, making it impossible to provide a blanket response as to whether they can or cannot open,” it read.

“In addition, driving ranges contain a number of hard surfaces and remain a high risk area for the spread of Covid-19. Because of this risk and the variable nature of their construction, we are not able to confirm if driving ranges are allowed to open.”

So can driving ranges reopen?

While the statement doesn’t say driving ranges have to stay shut, the PGA did provide the following advice to facilities: “If you are considering opening your driving range, you should carry out a comprehensive risk assessment considering current Government advice.”

We know you’re itching to get back and start working on your swing again, but the message here is pretty clear and ranges should only reopen if the safety of the golfers is guaranteed.

Driving ranges have many more challenges than courses, including not only multiple touch points but of shared equipment such as golf balls, mats, and tees, as well as ensuring social distancing can take place and people can move around the site safely.

Has your driving range reopened? Let us know in the comments below or you can tweet us.

Golf courses reopen: Essential reading

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