Covid-19 has brought sweeping changes to practically all aspects of everyday life and almost overnight we’ve been forced to adapt to new ways of doing things. Golf is no exception and the sport has seen some changes over the last few months. But it has also fared very well and golf is seeing a surge in popularity. Read on to discover the new trends in golf post lockdown.
One of the first sports out of lockdown
Because golf is a non-contact sport played in vast open areas, it has adapted very well to life after lockdown. In most countries, golf was one of the first sports permitted after stay at home recommendations and players flocked to their local courses as soon as they could.
The nature of a golf game – usually played in pairs or a foursome – also meant it was an easy sport to take up after lockdown. And while getting together with a friend or three for a round is by no means one of the new trends in golf, it has certainly consolidated since restrictions were lifted.
Courses around the world have reported an uptick in golf’s popularity over the last few weeks. Players who enjoyed golf before lockdown are back on the fairways more than ever before and new fans have joined them. More and more people are realizing the huge benefits of a challenging sport played in the midst of nature and as a result, they’re learning to play golf.
“We believe golf can be part of the solution in these difficult times,” said David Rickman, Executive Director of The R&A, interviewed in the Financial Times. “It has real proven benefits in terms of physical fitness and mental health, giving people something to do and look forward to.”
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New trends in golf rules
The R&A introduced new guidelines for the sport after lockdown, designed to maximise health and hygiene on the course. Many courses have adopted the new rules in their covid-19 protocols and gradually they have become part and parcel of the game.
For example, flagpoles remain in all the holes – a previously unheard of practice, but now an accepted norm in new trends in golf. Rakes are noticeably absent from the bunkers, but players have adapted to smoothing the sand with their club or shoes instead.
New social etiquette
Social distancing is no problem in a game of golf – after all, keeping 2 metres away from other players when you have over 6,000m of course is easy. And golfers have adapted other social aspects of the game to the new normal.
Handshakes at the beginning and end of a round are obviously no-no’s nowadays, but golfers have found easy substitutes. New trends in golf greetings include clicking clubs together or nudging elbows.
Changes in competition
Golf tournaments are also having to adapt to the new circumstances. Competitions are now taking place, but with new aspects to the game. For example, one of the new trends for the rest of this year will be fewer camera crews on the course and a reduced number of spectators.
New era of golf
However, despite the changes that players must adapt to, golf is certainly one of the best sports to play in the new normal. Fresh air and exercise are literally what the doctor ordered and a golf course offers a great place to find both.