DEBATE: Was this golf's most POINTLESS Covid-19 precaution?

When golf reopened in the United Kingdom, golf clubs had to take many different precautions, but was this the most pointless one?

Matt Chivers's picture
Fri, 3 Sep 2021

DEBATE: Was this golf's most POINTLESS Covid precaution?

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge disruption to the operations of golf clubs and golf courses in the last 18 months and when they re-opened, they were still required to meet certain guidelines.

In clubhouses and professional shops, you had to follow one-way walking systems and use hand sanitisers in order to reduce the chances of spreading Coronavirus. 

On the golf course, there were many different regulations concerning who you can play with and who you can share a buggy with. Flagsticks would have to be kept in the hole to prevent numerous people from potentially contaminating the pin.

All of these rules were completely reasonable and they were reasonable guidelines to follow in order to keep people safe, but there was one particular guideline that was quite difficult to comprehend.

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Some golf clubs across the United Kingdom would fill each hole on the course with a tube that prevented the ball from falling into the hole.

Although this was used to prevent people from putting their hands into the hole and stopping potential contamination, it was a very frustrating block that prevented putts, that would usually fall in the cup, from dropping.

When golf opened up, thousands of people could not wait to get back on the golf course and rediscover their game, but with these blocks in the holes, it prevented you from taking away a true representation of your score.

The tubes would be short enough to allow the ball to go in the hole, but the ball would not be totally underground, which meant that the tube would stop some putts from going in when they definitely would have in the past.

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Now that golf is back to being played in its purest form, there is no need for these tubes to be placed into the holes anymore, and many golfers across the country are no longer frustrated at good putts not dropping in the cup.

There is no doubt that we all want to play golf in a safe and Covid-19 free environment, but I think it was also important to maintain enjoyment in the game.

Unfortunately, these blocks in the holes did reduce enjoyment for me as your putts would not always get the result they deserved, and I think many other golfers had similar experiences.

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