Staring out on the historic North Berwick links golf course on Scotland’s Golf Coast I’ve been asking myself: why no golf?
When it’s the politicians I should be asking.
The rest of the world seems to recognise the obvious that’s staring us in the face… it’s one pastime where social distancing comes with the territory.
Encore Le Golf
Which is why France, which has been flagged (sorry) up as having particularly draconic lockdown laws, is reopening its courses from May 11.
And Ireland on a limited basis from May 18.
Portugal, a particular favourite with British and Irish golfers, is even further ahead with Monday slated as the day they tee up again.
While in the USA a poll of golf courses showed 60% already open.
The golfing world
So it comes as little surprise thar they have been straining at the leash to get back out on the course.
New Zealand and Dubai are further ahead of the curve than the Home of Golf and are also open.
So why is Scotland which gave the world the sport behind everyone else when it comes to a resumption of the Royal & Ancient game?
Because there are straightforward conditions that can, and are being applied abroad, which can be put in place which will make it possible to get back out there.
*Confine play to private members
*No raking of bunkers
While, of course, golfers already have putting gloves which they can use to take the ball out of the hole.
Of course my own golfing efforts abroad have been scratchy (no, not the handicap) to say the least.
My golf record
I set a course record high on the Old Course in Mandelieu, Cannes https://www.1golf.eu/en/club/old-course-cannes-mandelieu/ and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/us.france.fr/en/news/article/about-atout-france-0/amp
And had my good pal and proper golfer Jacinta running back to bunkers to collect wedges I’d left behind.
I discovered that I was better at the pitcher of beer than the pitcher of golf balls.
But maybe by the time I’d got to Portugal and the Paul McGinley Golf Academy in Quinta do Lago https://www.quintadolago.com/en/golf/academy/all the practice had started to pay off.
I’d made sure I’d stopped off at Turkish Airlines www.turkishairlines.com Business Lounge to play their driving range.
Now with a golf course on my doorstep I’ll be able to get out to the Old Course.
The Old Courses
Either the original across the Firth of Forth in St Andrews https://www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk/old-course-hotel.
Or the oldest one on continental Europe in the French Riviera.
MEET YOU ON THE COURSE