The Saudi Golf Federation (SGF) has commenced the reopening of all of the country’s golf courses, which will continue throughout this week.
Following more than two months of controlled movement and closures, the Saudi government has set out a specific timetable to lift current restrictions in three phases.
All golf clubs were included in the first phase of the government’s plans and have been given official permission to allow their members to return. However, there are strict health and safety guidelines and precautionary measures that golf clubs must adhere to, if continued play is to be permitted.
As part of these new measures, golfers must pre-book their round in advance, and wear masks upon arrival. Temperature checks will also be conducted on arrival for all members and anyone showing signs of illness will be asked to leave the course.
CEO, SGF, Majed Al Sorour commented: “It is great news that we are now in a position to reintroduce the game we all love across the Kingdom, in line with the latest government regulations. As one of the sports which can be played safely during this period, we urge everyone to be respectful of the phased approach taken by SGF.”
Al Sorour continued: “We will continuously monitor the situation both in the Kingdom, and across the world and we have not ruled out the reintroduction of further restrictions if the guidelines are not followed correctly. It is therefore imperative that both golf clubs and members take the necessary steps and adhere to guidelines, if facilities are to remain open in the weeks ahead.”
Additional restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include the use of physical distancing, with members keeping at least two meters apart from each other at all times. Golf carts will only be permitted to be used by one golfer and concierge services will also be closed, meaning players will need to carry their bags to and from their own vehicles. To prevent overcrowding on all courses, tee times have been extended to 14-minute intervals, with a maximum of three players per slot. This gap will not be altered for one or two balls. Restaurants and cafeterias will remain closed for seating, with takeaway orders possible via the on-course cart or telephone order. For payments, only contactless or card payments will be accepted. Shower and locker facilities will also remain closed.