14 Apr 2020

Abu Dhabi golf clubs extend opening conditions to members guests and TEC holders

Last week, three Troon golf courses in Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and Yas Links Golf Club – were reopened for members only during the COVID-19 pandemic under strict guidelines after receiving approval from ownership and local authorities. However, the reopening has now been extended to include members, members guests, Troon Executive Card Holders and Troon Facility Members who can all now play on the three stunning courses in the UAE capital. 

The three Troon clubs will open each day at 7:30am with the first tee time at 8:00am and the last tee time at 14:00. The clubs will close at 18:30 in line with the current Abu Dhabi Sterilization Program. They will adhere to strict precautions and guidelines advised by Ownership, Troon and local authorities for health and safety measures and social distancing advise. Some of the long list of rules are: one golfer per buggy, maximum of three golfers playing together, all golf holes have been adjusted so that the cup presents the ball in a manner that allows the golfer to pick up their ball without touching the flag, players must bring their own food and soft drinks, no cash payments and all individual temperatures will be checked upon entry.

The rules and restrictions have been altered slightly from yesterday (Monday) with playing lessons available, food and beverage available for takeaway and a beverage cart out on course.

NEWS: Al Zorah Golf Club reopened during COVID-19

But is golf safe to play during the coronavirus pandemic? Jill Weatherhead, an assistant professor of infectious disease at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said on USA Today: “Golf is very unique in that aspect in which of course you can be in a bit more wide-open space, you’re using theoretically your own equipment. And in those circumstances it’s probably going to be safe, although because we don’t know much about this virus, our understanding is constantly evolving.”

Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, also believes golf is a rare athletic escape from the coronavirus. He told the Wall Street Journal: “I believe that adequate social distancing can be performed with golfing. If people can remain six feet apart and not touch common surfaces the game is likely safe.”

The members at the Abu Dhabi golf clubs are delighted that they can go out and play again in a safe manner with a source saying:  “People are very happy and respect everybody’s choice, so if it is offered to you, why not! After all it’s probably safer playing golf than going out shopping for food.”

The Abu Dhabi clubs Health and Safety and Operational guidelines may alter at any time and according to the direction they receive from ownership and local authorities, changes could be made at short notice.

Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman has followed suit and reopened,  but it may be a while longer for those based in Dubai with the emirate still in lockdown.

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