We look at the changes to coronavirus guidance at golf clubs that has come into force across the United Kingdom and Ireland... ENGLAND England Golf's Covid-19 guidance will be updated from July 19 includes the "removal of any restrictions around on course items" as well as the end of social distancing. The governing body are amending their Play Safe, Stay Safe framework after prime minister Boris Johnson set out plans to lift the remaining coronavirus lockdown regulations in the country. Subject to any further changes, that will mean "all golf course furniture may be returned for normal use, including the removal of flagsticks, standard hole cups, bunker rakes and ball-washers". England Golf recommend clubs provide hand sanitiser stations on the course, and around practice facilities, to ensure golfers can regularly clean their hands. In a three-page document, they also advise that competition and scoring - such as the handling and submitting of scorecards - can return to how it was pre-pandemic. "Coronavirus-related changes to the rules of golf and all handicapping provisions that enabled the game to be played competitively during the period in which restrictions have been set are to be removed." While the updates signal a return to golfing normality, England Golf have recommended clubs consider "keeping a form of tee booking or player registration system in place". Pro shops, clubhouses, hospitality areas, changing facilities and other indoor areas can run as normal, while, on course, the planned removal of rules around social distancing and congregation numbers will mean "there are no restrictions on the golf course with regards to course furniture, sharing equipment, touching golf balls or the size of groups, beyond those set by the club." WALES Wales are moving fully into Alert Level 1 restrictions and will also take the first steps into Alert Level Zero from Saturday, July 17. Wales Golf have, therefore, eased the guidance for clubs in the country but note they must conduct a "thorough risk assessment when implementing any changes, and should consult with their health & safety advisor and insurance provider when making any changes". The following alterations will come into effect: Scoring in Stroke Play (Rule 3.3b) – the provisions of Rule 3.3b apply where the player’s score is kept on his or her scorecard by a marker. Certification of the scorecard by the marker and by the player should occur, as per the guidelines of Rule 3.3b(2). Flagsticks – There will no longer be a requirement to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times. Hole, and Definition of Holed – Coronavirus related changes to the definition of a hole and when the ball is holed are now removed. Rakes – Preferred lies in bunkers will no longer be permissible, and bunkers should no longer be made ground under repair, so it is recommended that rakes are returned to the course. On-Course Furnishings – Course furnishings such as ball washers, benches, bins etc. can be in use on the course. Social Distancing – The regulations will no longer give particular prominence to 2 metre...
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