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Golf in the UK

Pro Ryan Palmer: PGA Tour golf could resume in May after being suspended due to coronavirus

According to seasoned pro Ryan Palmer, PGA Tour golf could resume in the middle of May after being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like most other sports, professional golf has been suspended amid the world health crisis with tournaments canceled or postponed.

The first two major events of the year, including the Masters and PGA Championship, were postponed while all PGA Tour events until May 21 were canceled.

Now there are doubts over the US Open in June after Winged Foot, the host club of the event, was forced shut by New York’s government.

There have been more than 104,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States with more than 1,700 deaths.

Globally, more than 600,000 cases have been reported with about 29,000 deaths.

However, Palmer, a member of the venue for that tournament, thinks that the Charles Schwab Classic, the next scheduled event on the PGA Tour, is not out of the question.

Palmer said: “I would bet that they are anticipating playing Colonial.”

Tournament director Michael Tothe said: “When you start thinking about the charities we are supporting, the committee chairs, the sponsors, the fans, the volunteers, the hotels, you will get really excited.

“But at the same time, it is a time in our life that we are going through real tough time. We are ready for what comes down the line.”

The golf calendar has been deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the Olympic tournament scheduled for July was the latest event to be scrapped.

The Open Championship is still set to take place before the FedEx Cup play-offs in August, from July 16-19 as scheduled.

The Ryder Cup is also planned to take place from September 25-27 in Wisconsin.

The Masters in April and PGA Championship in May were both postponed in order to battle the pandemic with the whole world.

Both of them are rescheduled for the autumn.

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Golf in the UK

Coronavirus outbreak: England Golf statement

As the public health emergency escalates, the sports governing bodies have been detailing their plans to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate, golf’s four governing bodies in the UK and Ireland – England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf and the Golfing Union of Ireland – have set out their advice to clubs, and outlined how the virus will affect their championships in 2020, in a series of statements.

England Golf statement regarding coronavirus

England Golf  – in light of the developing situation with the COVID-19 outbreak – has today issued the following guidance to all our affiliated golf clubs and golfers.

We fully recognize the need to adhere to the expert advice available and as such we would point all our clubs in the direction of the guidelines set out in detail by Public Health England via their website.

Details on how best to cope with the virus can also be found via the World Health Organization website which will provide rolling updates and the best ways to mitigate against the spread of the infection.

NHS England also provides updated and expert advice via their website.

All golf clubs should note, act upon and continually monitor the advice and guidance issued by these expert authorities in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

It is important that we all work together, following the advice of qualified professionals, in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

This remains a very fluid situation and England Golf will continue to take their lead from the government and public health authorities when it comes to safeguarding our clubs and members and offering practical and necessary steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of golfers and golf club staff.

England Golf chief executive Jeremy Tomlinson said: “The expert practical advice that is available from the health authorities and national government should remain the first point of reference for all our golf clubs and golfers.

 “This is clearly a fluid and developing situation and we will continue to monitor events as they progress and pass on the relevant information to our stakeholders.

 “By working in alignment with those who are specialists in this field, we will be able to take the necessary precautions and provide the correct measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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Golf in the UK

Another five golf courses in Scotland are earmarked for closure

For the second time during a few days, there are reports that a Scottish agency wants to shut down five of its golf courses.

A few days ago the days reported that Glasgow Life is considering closing down five of the local council’s six municipal golf courses thanks to low usage, and now the Ayrshire Post has revealed that South Ayrshire Council is considering closing five clubs also, so as to seek out £9 million to balance its books.

A public consultation into a raft of cost-cutting measures, featuring the closure of community centers and swimming pools, has been launched on the South Ayrshire Council website; however, it is understood that an inventory of closure targets has been involved.

The clubs earmarked for closure are Maybole golf courses, Belleisle golf courses, Girvan golf courses, Seafield golf courses, and Dalmilling golf courses.

The Belleisle and Seafield courses sit side by side and opened in 1927.

The facilities benefited from the addition of a fresh £1.5 million clubhouse in 2016.

Girvan may be a nother James Braid design and is a part-links, part-parkland layout that enjoys an equivalent stunning views of the Ailsa Craig as Trump Turnberry.

The three other courses operated by South Ayrshire Council – Lochgreen, Darley, and Fullarton, which all use an equivalent Troon Links clubhouse – aren’t believed to be suffering from the proposed cuts.

This comes at a dreadful time for Scotland’s municipal golf courses. In Dundee, Camperdown GC is thanks to close at the top of this month after a last-ditch plan to reserve it fell through, and David Doig, of the Lothians Golf Association, recently said that Edinburgh could follow Glasgow’s lead because it must find up to £40 million in savings from it allow 2021-22, and one golf courses has lost nine of its holes.

However, a Merseyside council is to take a position quite half 1,000,000 pounds in its golf offerings, because it believes that golf courses that don’t suffer from under-investment achieve a big return on the investment.

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Golf in the UK

Tiger Woods warned of decreased enjoyment risk in golf’s distance debate

Tiger Woods has weighed into the space debate in golf and fears the sport could subsided enjoyable for amateurs and kids if equipment is modified.

Woods seemed divided with his opinions on the findings of the space Insight Project Report on Tuesday. At the end of the conversation, he concluded that further increases in golf’s average hitting distances would be undesirable and detrimental to its future.

Last week, Phil Mickelson also insisted that the increases of distance were more due to the reason that players became better athletes, instead of the equipment technology advances during his long professional career.

Woods conceded that player fitness was an element , but he admitted that golf courses were “running out of property” when trying to increase to accommodate the modern-day big-hitter, although he also warned of the necessity to stay the sport “enjoyable” at grass roots level.

“The game of golf is fluid, it’s moving, and therefore the ball is certainly going tons further now than the old balata days,” said Woods before this week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera club, a rare tournament that he has never won.

“We want the game to abstract more participation. Having the more forgiving clubs and larger clubheads adds to the enjoyment of the sport. So there is a very delicate balancing act for where we’re trying to stay the sport at.

Woods believes bifurcation (different rules for professionals and amateurs) may be a possibility but added: “It’s certainly a discussion that’s on the table, whether we bifurcate or not, but it’s likely to be long after my playing days before we figure that out.”

Although the 15-time major champion also revealed that he has been approached to compete within the proposed Premier Golf League, he gave little away as being asked if he would plan to such a format.

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Golf in the UK

Royal Dornoch golf course named number one in world

The internationally renowned championship course at Royal Dornoch Golf Club has been named number one in the world by leading online golf reservation service, “golfscape”.

The course topped the list of the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses 2020, compiled by an extensive panel of industry leaders.

The panel said of Royal Dornoch: “Bordering the Dornoch Firth, the classic links land will offer you nothing but wild magnificent seas, skies, and mountains with ancient grass covering the dunes.”

Golfscape’s list has eight Scottish courses, including the Old Course at St Andrews (ranked no 6) and the Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry (15).

Royal Dornoch Golf Club general manager Neil Hampton said: “This is an amazing achievement and a great tribute to every club member who works hard to make our historic course a must-play venue for golfers today.”

“The quality of the course as well as our history, including our links to Donald Ross and Old Tom Morris, is a winning combination.”

The championship course has also been ranked no four in the world in Golf Digest’s new Top 100 courses outside the US, by a panel that includes more than 1700 North American golfers and more than 350 international players.

The panel said that Herbert Warren Wind (an American golf writer) called it the most natural golf course in the world. Tom Watson called it the most fun that he had had playing golf. Donald Ross called it home, having been born in the village and learned the game on the links.

In November, the championship course was ranked no 10 in GOLF magazine’s latest Top 100 Courses in the World list.

It was second only to St Andrews’ Old Course as the highest ranking of 13 Scottish courses to make the list and was the third highest ranked of the 30 courses in Great Britain and Ireland.

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Golf in the UK

Four of The Best Golf Courses in England

When mentioning the best golfing destinations in the world, besides the US, people usually jump straight to Scotland or Ireland, despite the fact that their neighbour also offers some of the most topographically diverse golf around. With a variety of world-class golf layouts, including plenty of parkland and heathland offerings, England has a lot of golf course well worth the visit. Here is the list of England’s best golf courses with a few notable omissions.

Hotchkin Course, Woodhall Spa

The Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa is frequently considered as the best inland golf course in the UK. Located amongst glorious pine, this heathland layout is the finest of Lincolnshire and has been the headquarters to the English Golf Union since 1995.

Old Course, Walton Heath

It is hard to believe that the Old Course in Walton Heath is only a few miles from the M25. Once out there, you will soon be in golfing paradise amongst the beautiful heathland. Although the first 9 can play tough into a stiff, links-like wind, there are more chances to get a couple back coming home. The par-5 16th is argued to be the signature hole. The approach requires pinpoint accuracy with heather on the left and a huge bunker sucking up anything slightly right or short at the edge of the green.

Royal Lytham & St Anne’s

Situated only 10 miles from Royal Birkdale, the richness of world class links golf does not relent at Lytham & St Annes. Bordered on the west by a picturesque railway line, Blackpool Tower looms in the background. The Guardian Victorian clubhouse peers over the 11-time Open Championship layout.

Royal Birkdale

Another course on the Open rota, Birkdale held the championship for the 10th time in 2017. The famous Southport venue has also hosted the Ryder Cup twice and can be a torrid experience if the wind is blowing. Whatever the weather is like (and it really does vary here), Royal Birkdale is a challenging spot to play golf. Expect stunning views from the towering dunes that line the fairways as you plot your way round this true test of links golf.