As reported on last Monday’s Leader, golf courses in the area are once again open to the public.

Orihuela City Council has reported that 4 of the 5 golf courses located on the Orihuela Costa have reopened their facilities within the framework of “Phase 1” of the process of de-escalation with the agreement reached between the Secretary of State for Tourism and the different Autonomous Communities.

All of the courses must have material protection resources recommended by the health authorities in order to prevent the spread of the virus (masks, gloves, protective glasses or face masks) and limit their services to those that they can offer within the rules allowed in phase One.

The Spanish Golf Federation, Golf Directors Association and other key members of the golf industry have been in contact with the Spanish Government and have been issued to clubs regarding necessary protocols.

The standard security protocol is as follows:

1)            Golfers can only travel to and play golf courses in the province in which they live.

2)            Respect the measures in place at the course.

3)            Make reservation through an agent or on-line.

4)            Payment to be made on-line.

5)            Buggies will be single occupancy (some courses may allow spouses to share a buggy if the couple co-habit and have isolated together).

6)            If you use your own trolley disinfect it before and after the game.

7)            Arrive at the course ready to play as changing rooms will be closed.

8)            Don’t congregate in groups at the course.

9)            No hugs, high fives, kisses and handshakes.

10)          Maintain social distancing during the game

11)          Play will be permitted in four balls.

12)          Go direct to the tee 5 minutes before your start time.

13)          Play ready golf and keep your place on the courses as groups can’t be called through.

14)          Don’t touch fountains, benches, toilets and ball cleaners around the course.

15)          No rakes will be available but use feet to leave the bunker in the best condition for those following.

16)          Don’t touch the flag which must remain in the hole and allow gimmies within a standard putter grip length.

17)          Holes will be fitted with a device to stop the ball falling to the bottom of the hole.

18)          Don’t clean your clubs at the course.

19)          It is highly recommended that you go straight from the golf course to your car and then home.

It is recommended that golfers print off the above list and refer to it regularly as they are playing their round.

The golf courses to reopen locally are: Real Club de Golf Campoamor, Villamartín, Las Colinas, Vistabella.