Durban Country Club

Update: June 11th: 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

Golf Course Restrictions 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.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions still in place around Europe, each country has been designated a colour code relating to their status. These codes directly affect the ability to travel to and from these countries. These travel codes can change every week.

🌕 Code Yellow 🌕 = cross-border tourism will no longer be considered ill-advised. (Note: code yellow does not equal green! Make sure to check the latest travel advice, as countries can change their own travel advice and yellow can easily turn to orange again).

🔶 Code Orange 🔶 = tourism is tightly regulated and quarantine measures remain in force

Until 15 June, the code for travel advice will remain orange. From 15 June onwards, these countries will move to Code Yellow :

  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Croatia

Between 15 June – 5 July

  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Switzerland.

Austria

⛳️ Courses open since May 1st (all golfers).

👥 Max. 4 people limited.

🛫 Foreign tourists are welcome from June 15th.

Belgium

⛳️ 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.

🛫 Foreign tourists are welcome from June 15th.

Cyprus

⛳️ 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.

Czech Republic

⛳️ Courses open since April 7th (all golfers).

👥 Max. 2 people limited.

🛫 Tourist sector open.

Denmark

⛳️ Courses open since April 21st (all golfers).

👥 Max. 4 people limited.

🛫 Border controls continue until August 31st. Only tourists from Scandinavia and Germany are allowed to cross the border if they want to go on holiday in Denmark or travel through Denmark.

France

⛳️ Courses are allowed to open.

👥 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. Foreign tourists are welcome from June 15th.

Greece

⛳️ Golf courses in Greece are gradually opening.

🛫 Until 15 June, arrivals in Greece from abroad will be tested for coronavirus and required to stay in government-provided accommodation for 24 hours. Travel to the islands is only permitted for residents only. From the start of July, Wizz Air plans to initiate flights to Corfu, Heraklion, Rhodes and Zakynthos. 

Germany

⛳️ 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.

Iceland

⛳️ Courses Open

🛫 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.

Ireland

⛳️ 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

🛫 Foreign tourists are welcome again from August 10th.

Italy

⛳️ Courses open for play since May 18th.

🛫 Foreign tourists are welcome from June 15th.

Netherlands

⛳️ 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.

🛫 Going on holiday in the Netherlands is allowed but note that public transport is still intended exclusively for necessary travel only. Foreign tourists are welcome from June 15th. Air traffic into Netherlands from Sweden and UK is not welcome. See KLM for network updates.

Norway

⛳️ Courses open since April 10th (all golfers).

👥 Unlimited.

🛫 Norwegian Airlines is operating a limited flight schedule until further notice. Travelers from outside Scandinavia must be quarantined for 14 days.

Portugal

⛳️ Courses open since May 4th. Courses open in Portugal include:

🛫 The border with Spain is likely to open on June 15th. Flying to Portugal is already possible. 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.

Slovenia

⛳️ 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.

Spain

⛳️ Courses open.

Golf clubs in Costa Brava are now open for play including PGA Catalunya Resort,  Costa Brava GolfGolf d’Aro – Mas NouGolf de PalsGolf EmpordàGolf Resort Peralada and Golf Torremirona.

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:

👥 Max. 4 people – must keep the safety distance during the
course of the round.

🛫 The current two-week quarantine period for arrivals will lift on 1 July. Airports remain open, but airlines are operating heavily reduced services and only for Spanish residents. Travel into Spain is only allowed if you have an NIE number (Foreigner Identification Number).

Sweden

⛳️ 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.

Switzerland

⛳️ Courses gradually opening up.

👥 Max. 5 people with safety precations.

🛫Border is expected to reopen on June 15.

UK

⛳️ All golf courses in England, Wales & Scotland 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.
  • Members of the same household playing in two, three or four-balls.
  • 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).

🛫 Travelers from outside the UK will be welcome again from June 8thTourism is not recommended. Anyone entering the UK must be quarantined for 14 days. 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.

Airlines

IATA Important updates on travel restrictions by country can be found on the IATA website.

RyanairOver 99% of flights are grounded until 20 June, but 40% of scheduled flights will run from 1 July. 

Golf Course Restrictions

Golf Course Restrictions - La Manga
Social distancing might not be that bad! (La Manga)

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.
Golf Course Restrictions - Social distancing
Stay 2 metres apart

As mentioned, we will be updating this blog daily to provide accurate and real-time information. Stay safe and happy golfing!

Read on…

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