Update: May 28th: So it has now been a few months, (depending on where you are), since restrictions were placed on schools, workplaces, and of course… golf courses! And while it’s certainly not time to start celebrating yet, there is some light shining through the clouds. Online bookings are becoming essential as national golf administrations across the globe are gradually opening up their fairways to a limited number of people. However, these courses are placing strict safety guidelines which must be followed. These golf restrictions will inevitably change the way we play.
Below, we have provided you with a summary of restrictions placed on countries & courses, and travel information about where, when, and how you can golf again (in Europe). It is important to note that safety restrictions and information may change from day to day. We strongly advise reading the guidelines from your local authorities and governments, as well as the World Health Organization.
We will be updating this blog daily, so keep us bookmarked ✩ to stay well informed on golf course restrictions around the continent.
Golf Restrictions & Travel in Europe
*Note: Always check with individual golf clubs about their own restrictions. In most countries you will need to make a reservation online or over the phone.
⛳️ Courses open since May 1st (all golfers).
👥 Max. 4 people limited.
🛫 Travel into Austria is only allowed with a medical certificate. Border controls were eased on 15 May with Austria, France and Switzerland and will be lifted on 15 June.
⛳️ Courses open. Online booking is the new standard given that it is an important tool in the case of contact tracing.
👥 Max. 3 people (from the same or different households) can play together as often as they like, as long as they play with the same people every time.
🛫 Travel into Belgium is not allowed. Belgium has a ban on travel for its own citizens on all international trips
⛳️ Courses open for play (with restrictions) from May 13th.
🛫 Travel into Cyprus is not allowed, however it is expected to ease by the end of May.
⛳️ Courses open since April 7th (all golfers).
👥 Max. 2 people limited.
🛫 Travel into Czech Republic is not allowed. Tourism will start to open up from May 25th.
⛳️ Courses open since April 21st (all golfers).
👥 Max. 4 people limited.
🛫 Travel into Denmark is easing. Visitors must remain quarantined for 14 days.
⛳️ Courses allowed to open.
- Terre Blanche Resort (for members – May 12th, to all green fee players – May 15th). For more info click here!
- Golf de Chailly
👥 4 balls are allowed – golfers will have to respect a 2 m distance between all players.
🛫 Cross border trips into France are allowed but may be subject to restrictions and quarantine. France has restricted the entry of all travelers arriving from non-Schengen Member States. Within France – trips of up to 100 kilometres from home are allowed without justification. Border controls were eased on 15 May with Austria, France and Switzerland and will be lifted on 15 June.
⛳️ Golf courses in Greece are gradually opening.
🛫 Anyone arriving from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days. Travel to the islands is only permitted for residents only, who will need to provide proof of permanent residence. From the start of July, Wizz Air plans to initiate flights to Corfu, Heraklion, Rhodes and Zakynthos.
⛳️ Courses open for play under restrictions.
🛫 Travel into Germany from outside EU is not allowed. Germans will not be allowed to travel outside of Germany until June 15th.
⛳️ Most courses are open to members only, while all are expected to open by May 20th.
🛫 Travel to Iceland is allowed but visitors must remain quarantined for 14 days. From June 15th, visitors can choose between quarantine or corona test. Visitors are obliged to use Covid-19 app when in the country.
⛳️ Courses open to members who live within 5km of their club and have booked tee-times online. Restrictions eased every three weeks from May 18th.
👥 Max 4 people limited
🛫 Travel to Ireland is not allowed.
⛳️ Courses open for play since May 18th.
🛫 Anyone arriving into Italy from abroad must have an essential reason and is obliged to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms. Travel between regions and for all people coming from Schengen countries will be allowed from June 3rd.
⛳️ Most golf courses are open to members (and guests of members) only until June 1st. Some clubs are open to all green fee players, however it is highly recommended to check with the club before you arrive. You can contact clubs here.
🛫 Air traffic into Netherlands from Italy and Spain is not welcome. From May 4th, KLM will restart travel to the following destinations (a daily flight, seven days a week): Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw & Helsinki. Restrictions will apply, see KLM for network updates.
⛳️ Courses open since April 10th (all golfers).
🛫 Norwegian Airlines is operating a limited flight schedule until further notice. Travelers from outside Scandinavia must be quarantined for 14 days.
⛳️ Courses open since May 4th. Courses open in Portugal include:
- Monte Rei
- Praia d’el Rey
- West Cliffs
- Vale do Lobo – Ocean & Royal
- Boavista Golf – 👥 Max. 2 golfers
- Espiche Golf
- Faldo Course – 👥 Max. 2 golfers
- O’Connor Course – 👥 Max. 2 golfers
- Vale da Pinta & Gramacho Golf
- Quinta do Lago – Laranjal Course
- Quinta do Lago Norte Course
- Dom Pedro Old Course
- Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort – 👥 Max. 2 golfers or 3 if part of the same household.
- Quinta da Ria
- Quinta da Cima – ⏰Open Mon. Wed. & Fri.
- Salgados Golf – ⏰Open between 08:00 and 10:00.
- Golf Santo Antonio ⏰Open after 10:00.
- Vila Sol Golf – Pestana Golf
🛫 Airports in Portugal are opened with restricted number of flights. From June 16th, Wizz Air plans to initiate flights from Luton airport to Faro. For more info on golf course restrictions in Portugal & the Algarve see algarvegolf.net.
⛳️ Courses open since April 20th. Slovenia is the first European country to declare an end to the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions still apply.
👥 Max. 4 players (from separate households)
🛫 Air transport to Slovenia is no longer restricted. However, it may take some time for flights to and from the country to resume. Border crossings with Italy and Austria are limited.
⛳️ Courses open in regions which have entered phase 1 de-escalation. 90% of courses on Costa del Sol are now taking bookings. See the video from the Costa Del Sol Tourist Board here.
The Spanish Golf Federation has agreed a series of technical specifications and distance protocols with the Spanish government so that the sport can be played safely. They can be found (in Spanish) here.
Provinces & courses open for play in Spain include:
- Castilla y León
- Castilla la Mancha
- Basque Country
- Navarra (Navarre)
- La Rioja
- Murcia (for more info. see murciatoday.com)
- Balearic Islands
- Canary Islands
- Valencia – (for more info see visitvalencia.com).
👥 Max. 4 people – must keep the safety distance during the
course of the round.
🛫 Airports remain open, but airlines are operating heavily reduced services and only for Spanish residents, frontier workers or those who can prove an essential reason for entering the country, may do so. Travel into Spain is only allowed if you have an NIE number (Foreigner Identification Number).
⛳️ All golf courses are open for play in Sweden.
🛫 Travel to Sweden is restricted to people with a national visa for Sweden, a temporary or permanent residence permit in Sweden or essential services.
⛳️ Courses gradually opening up.
👥 Max. 5 people with safety precations.
🛫 Border controls were eased on 15 May with Austria, France and Switzerland and will be lifted on 15 June
⛳️ All golf courses in England & Wales are open, subject to safety protocols from the R&A. Courses in Northern Ireland are open to members.
The following is allowed:
- Playing golf on your own.
- Two-balls with individuals from different households.
- Members of the same household playing in two, three or four-balls.
⛔️ Scotland – golf can resume on May 29th for members who live within 5km of their club.
- Two-balls – may be from two households whilst maintaining physical distancing.
- Groups up to four players permitted at the discretion of the golf club (ensuring that only two households are represented in the group).
🛫 Travel into the UK is easing day by day. Mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone entering the country. Traveling from one country to another within the UK is not recommended. Virgin Atlantic is operating a limited schedule. If you want to change your booking, you can rebook for travel up to 30 September 2022.
Golf in the US
⛳️ Golf courses in the US have been authorised to open from May 11th, with strict restrictions in place. Rules and openings differ from state to state. You can see an overview of information on the GCSAA website, or go to Golf Advisor’s blog for more information.
🛫 Travel to the USA has been highly restricted. Anyone who has visited Europe, including the UK and Ireland, in the last 14 days is banned from entering the country.
IATA – Important updates on travel restrictions by country can be found on the IATA website.
Ryanair – Over 99% of flights are grounded until 20 June, but 40% of scheduled flights will run from 1 July.
Golf Course Restrictions
Please note that although some countries and golf courses have eased restrictions, things have not returned to a pre-pandemic state. Golf clubs everywhere are adhering to strict health and safety guidelines aligned with their respective governments as well as the governing bodies in golf (EGA, USGA, R&A). These restrictions include:
- Clubs/facilities to organise a system of booking and allocation of tee times that ensures the safety of staff and golfers.
- Find out which courses are available to book online here.
- Golfers must be 2 metres apart at all times.
- All rakes and ball-retrievers to be removed.
- With no rakes allowed on the course, remind golfers to make their very best efforts to smooth the sand using their club and/or their feet.
- Ball washers and drinking fountains to be covered up.
- Benches and bins to be removed, covered or sign-posted in such a way that players don’t touch them.
- Golfers are required to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times and not to touch it.
- A hole liner is to be used meaning all of the ball does not fall below the surface of the putting green. It can be easily retrieved by handling the ball only.
- Practice areas, including practice nets, to be closed unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.
- Restrictions on the maximum number of players in a golf group, per tee time is to be confirmed by the club or facility.
- There is to be a minimum of 10 minute intervals between tee times. Longer intervals may be more appropriate depending on the club/facility.
- The clubhouse and locker room facilities will be closed. Limited or essential access (for example to use the toilets) may be allowed by the club/facility.
- No trolleys, carts or other items to be available for hire unless safe sanitising practices can be guaranteed.
- Golfers should not touch stray balls.
- 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.
- As provided in the Rules of Golf, scorecards can be electronic, which could include emailing or texting scores to the Committee.
As mentioned, we will be updating this blog daily to provide accurate and real-time information. Stay safe and happy golfing!