Navigating the Greens: Uncovering the Golf Courses Still Remaining Open

Exploring the World of Open Golf Courses amid Challenging Times

Golf, a popular leisure activity worldwide, has faced unprecedented challenges with the outbreak of the global pandemic. While several global sporting events have been canceled or postponed due to safety measures, the golfing industry has found ways to keep the greens open for passionate golfers, albeit with necessary precautions in place. This article explores the world of open golf courses amid challenging times.

The game of golf is characterized by large, open spaces, which naturally enable individuals to maintain the recommended social distancing. This feature has facilitated the reopening of several golf courses globally, with certain limitations and safety protocols, even amidst the ongoing crisis.

Across the United States, several golf courses have taken actions to ensure both their employees' and customers' well-being while endeavoring to provide their normal services. Golf clubs have implemented measures like single rider carts, online booking and payment systems, no-contact check-in procedures, and regular sanitization of equipment. The guidelines and rules vary from one golf club to another depending on local regulations, the size and infrastructure of the club, and the number of customers they usually host.

In the Europe region, setting examples of innovative safety measures, golf clubs have raised cups above ground level to avoid golfers having to venture into common areas and touch shared surfaces. Some of them have also adjusted the weighing of course slopes and green size, encouraging interesting new playing strategies.

Asia, home to some of the most exclusive golf clubs, has also adapted to the challenging times. Singapore's Marina Bay Golf Course, for instance, has installed plastic separators on their buggy seats and LIMITED the number of players in a flight to maintain distance. Meanwhile, in Japan, rounds are being played without caddies, a tradition typically associated with the country's golfing scene.

Down Under, Australian golf clubs have also risen to the situation, ensuring golfers can safely enjoy their round. Safety measures such as digital score recording, eliminating bunker rakes and adopting course setup changes to reduce contact points are becoming common.

Golf courses in South Africa, like the Leopard Creek Country Club, have used this challenging period as an opportunity to fine-tune their courses. With a much-reduced footfall, they have taken up ambitious renovation projects without causing inconvenience to their patrons.

Courses in the Middle East, such as the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai and the Riyadh Golf Courses in Saudi Arabia, have implemented rigorous sanitization measures, including frequent sterilization of golf carts and equipment, and are enforcing strict health and safety protocols.

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As COVID-19 continues to shape our world, golf lovers have been inadvertently affected. Though public health and safety should always remain our top priority, numerous golf courses globally have started to reopen with strict guidelines in place to ensure the prevention of virus transmission.

One of the first golf courses to reopen is the esteemed Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, USA. With nine golf courses, Pinehurst Resort is accommodating limited golfers daily to ensure social distancing, sterilize golf carts regularly, and remove shared amenities. On top of all these regulations, Pinehurst Resort has also initiated online reservations and payments to avoid physical contact. Players can now enjoy a safe round of golf on one of the world's most prestigious golf courses again.

Many of Scotland's public golf courses are also now open under similar regulations. For example, The Old Course at St Andrews, also known as the "Home of Golf," is welcoming golfers back once more. With golden sand dunes and fescue-lined fairways, St Andrews assures the careful management of tee-time intervals and golf equipment sanitization measures.

Across the Atlantic, we have the legendary Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA. Augusta National has also resumed action but asks players to adhere strictly to their safety guidelines, which includes temperature checks before entrance into the golf courses. All tournaments have been closed to the public.

Similarly, in Japan, the Kasumigaseki Country Club, known for its serene golfing experience amidst cherry blossom trees, has opened with a safe play policy in place. This club requires pre-registration, temperature checks, regular sanitization, and limits groups to four players.

In addition to the aforementioned, frequent golfers should consider scheduling tee time at Bethpage State Park in New York. Known to be one of the best public golf facilities, Bethpage is open but suggests golfers bring their equipment and retrieve their golf balls to limit transmission risks.

Lastly, the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia, one of the oldest and most prestigious golf clubs globally, now opens its doors with stringent social distancing and sanitation measures. Shared golf carts are restricted, and players are encouraged to walk.

In conclusion, despite the ongoing battle with a global pandemic, golf lovers can still find solace in the expansive greens of the world’s most prestigious golf courses. The reopening of these golf courses comes with high anticipation and responsibility. Players are kindly urged to follow all guidelines mentioned and prioritize the health and safety of themselves and others.