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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

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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General

The history of golf in the UK

The beginning of golf is filled with mystery. However, we have to make it clear that Scotland is the most responsible for setting the ground on which golf is based. It can’t be negated that golf is an ancient game. Although it didn’t happen suddenly, it was the result of similar activities evolving over a long period of years. Early English version was called “Cambuca”, which was using a wooden ball. There are many evidence of the existence of golf that is linked to Scotland.

King James II

Golf gained popularity in Scotland quickly but King James II banned the game in the 15th century. When Scotland was in the war with England, and the military spent more time playing golf than practicing archery, which was a vital in defending the country. Surely, golf enthusiasts often ignored the ban, so the king had to make similar declarations two more times in the next few years. 40 years later, the ban was withdrawn as the nobleman started playing golf. In 1502, Scottish King James IV received a set of golf clubs from one the man who was producing bows and strings at that time.

Queen of Scotland

The next King James V of Scotland also played golf and was a frequent guest of Gosford in East Lothian, where he had his own private Links golf field. People assume that his daughter Mary, the Queen of Scotland, started playing golf when she was a little girl. Later, she continued to play golf at school in France. In 1567, she was criticized for playing golf right after the death of her husband, Lord Darnley.

Golf clubs

In 1735, The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh – the first official golf club – was founded. Then, The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was created in 1744, and ten years later, the most famous golf club in the world, The Society of St. Andrews Golfers in 1754. Historians believed that Scottish masonry lodges were financially supporting the first golf clubs. The first golf club outside of Scotland, Royal Blackheath, was formed in England in 1766. At the end of the 18th century, there were ten golf clubs in England and Scotland.

Rules Committee Meeting

We had to wait about 200 years for any standardization of the sport, in the form as we know today. It took a lot of time to make any written rules. On May 14, 1754, the first session of the Rules Committee in Golf was held by The Society of St. Andrews Golfers. There were 21 representatives of gentlemen, all for the purpose of adopting Specific Rules and Laws related to Healthy Golfing. Those people could not even dream of what they actually started, but it was enough that they were all passionate about golf.