Playing golf COVID-19 updates

PLAYING GOLF 2021 Covid-19 Updates

Updated 13/05/21

Click HERE for England Golf Infographic Framework for Playing Golf


1. Course Set-up

On-course items have been removed/covered where possible including:

  • Bunker Rakes - players may bring their own personal rakes and ball retrievers, which should only be handled by that player and taken away at the end of their round
  • Ball washers are covered up and out of use
  • Open-top bins may be used - please dispose of your rubbish responsibly
  • Flagsticks are in but players are not to remove them for play
  • The hole cups/liners have been raised so players’ balls may be easily retrieved by handling the ball only and players still finish putts like they would have under normal circumstances, retaining the ‘feel’ of a normal round of golf. PLAYERS MUST ONLY RETRIEVE THEIR OWN BALLS
  • Bunkers: Local rules will be put in place (GUR) and players should use their feet to level the sand after they have played their shot


2. Before the Round


  • Pytchley Golf Lodge has a telephone booking system in place already.

PGL will improve the current system:

  1. Include contact numbers for bookings
  2. Adequate spacing of tee times – 10 mins apart
  3. Players per booking are max 4
  4. Daily reminders for staff and customers to check when taking bookings

Arrival and waiting to play

  • The clubhouse facilities will have access to handle golf bookings 
  • The rest of the facilities including the kitchen and garden room will remain closed
  • Toilets are open and hand washing facilities are available. Changing rooms remain closed.
  • Players are advised to arrive ten minutes before their tee time, changed and ready for play. Follow government restrictions regarding socialising.
  • Players are advised to provide their own equipment. PGL has risk assessed the hire of trolleys and the buggy and has deemed safe to do so. Trolley handles are sanitised between use and antibac wipes are available with the trolleys for customers to use. 
    • The outdoor practice facilities including the putting green and chipping green will be open subject to safety precautions. 

3. During the Round

On-course signage will be in place throughout the course to remind players to keep at least two metres apart during their round.

Teeing Areas

  • The WHITE competition tees will be in use for qualifying competition purposes only
  • Players reminded to maintain appropriate social distancing at teeing areas 


  • Players must maintain social distancing when walking to the ball, searching for a ball and whilst playing shots
  • DO NOT touch stray balls
  • Players are advised to use “Ready Golf” whilst playing to ensure pace of play and stop a queue forming
  • Players will be offered a scorecard each and must keep their own scorecard, do not swap cards


  • There will be NO bunker rakes on the course. Golfers should make their very best efforts to smooth the sand using their club or their feet for the players after them. PGL will GUR all bunkers or have a local rule of PREFERRED LIES in place in bunkers since essential maintenance does not cover bunkers, so there will be some growth/untidiness that may affect play.

Outdoor Practice Areas including Putting Green and Chipping Green

  • All flagsticks have been removed from the putting and chipping green
  • Players using these must remember to keep at least 2 METRES apart whilst using


4. After the Round

Social distancing is as important after a round as it is during the round.

  • Players are reminded to adhere to social distancing – standard etiquette such as shaking hands etc. should be avoided

5. Rules of Golf-Related Matters

To enable some of the changes to the way the game is played, there are likely to be several changes to the Rules of Golf. Some of these are outlined below.

Format of Play and Scoring

  • It is recommended that non-competition play is used during the initial period of golf being played and that stroke play competitions involving players in different groups are avoided
  • If competitive stroke play is played, a method of scoring needs to be used that does not require any handling or exchanging of scorecards
  • As provided in the Rules of Golf, scorecards can be electronic which could include emailing or texting scores to the Committee


  • If golfers take due care when smoothing bunkers, there should be no need to provide a Local Rule for bunkers. But if they feel that the enjoyment of the game is being significantly affected by there being no rakes, it may introduce Preferred Lies in bunkers and provide that a player may place a ball in the bunker within one club-length of the original spot and not nearer the hole than that spot. PGL has preferred lies in bunkers.


  • Golfers are required to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times and not to touch it. It is a matter for the Committee to decide whether it establishes this policy by way of a Code of Conduct or Local Rule, and whether it provides a penalty under the Code of Conduct or for a breach of the Local Rule
  • As a temporary provision, flagsticks ca be used for the purpose of player safety which do not meet the specifications in Part 8 of the Equipment Rules

Hole and Holed

  • The hole liner (hole cup) is to be set in a way that means all of the ball cannot be below the surface of the putting green, so the ball is considered holed if any part of it is below the surface of the putting green
  • To minimize the need to lift the ball from the hole, it is recommended that the Committee provides that a ball is holed with the next stroke if it is within 12 inches of the hole (which is just over the length of a standard putting grip). This does not prevent a player in match play conceding a stroke that is outside this length
  • The Committee may decide to have the hole liner sitting above the surface of the green and treat a ball as holed if it strikes the liner
  • PGL has inverted the hole cups so the ball does not fall below the surface of the putting green and can be easily retrieved by handling the ball only