Golf Innovation in the Face of Adversity

By: Golfshake Editor | Wed 18 Mar 2020 | Comments


These are worrying, anxious times for us all. It's understandable if you are feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the coronavirus crisis, the impact that it's having on daily life, the economy, and families across the world. For many of us, golf is a relief from that stress, a welcome distraction from an endless stream of depressing headlines. 

Golf courses across continental Europe have been or are recommended to be closed - including in Spain, Germany, and Italy, but at present, despite numerous clubhouse closures and a winding down of regular operations for venues, most courses across the UK remain accessible.

However, you may be concerned about minimising risk for yourself and playing partners, and there are clear recommendations, as outlined in Stay Safe, But Keep Playing Golf For Now, which include maintaining distance (around two metres) from others, no handshakes, and not touching the pin when putting on the green - something made easier by the rule change last year by the R&A and USGA.

You may still have pause to reflect on retrieving your ball from the ball, considering the golfers who have come through before, but several clubs and their greenkeepers have introduced simple but effective solutions.

Take a look at what has been done at St Annes Old Links just by removing and turning the hole cup upside down.

Bolton Old Links has done exactly the same.

And here is a little bit of ingenuity suggested by Conor Fallon.

These are all wonderfully innovative, but can't guarantee a removal of contact points. Going a step further, Richter Park GC in Connecticut has raised cups above the surface, meaning that you don't have to touch anything. Just hit the cup and move onto the next hole. Something that may just improve your putting stats!

Other clubs have done similar, raising cups, flipping them round, and taking away rakes from bunkers, reducing the risk of spreading or contracting the virus from contaminated viruses on the golf course. 

On Golfshake, we encourage our golfers to Play More & Play Better, and thanks to innovations like the ones above, many courses across our panicked world are making that possible in the most difficult circumstances.


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