The R&A say they are proceeding with “cautious optimism” for a full-scale Open Championship in July.
The governing body’s chief executive Martin Slumbers added that they have plans in place if the event has to happen behind closed doors or with a very limited number of spectators.
There are still a few months until the Open gets under way at Royal St George’s and we don’t know what the situation might be in Britain at the time.
Golf is one of the few sports that lends itself to having spectators socially distant, because there is so much space around a golf course.
With the Open taking place in southern England, we normally see quite a lot of fans from continental Europe travelling over on ferries or the Eurostar, but that is unlikely to be the case this summer.
Hopefully the R&A are able to get a decent number of spectators to the Open, because it would make it an even more special event, particularly after last year’s postponement.
It’s clear it is going to be another challenging season for the European Tour. We aren’t going to be playing tournaments outside of a bubble anytime soon.
The quarantine rules for Scotland could make things difficult for the Scottish golfers, but I think it is the right thing to do, even if it probably should have been introduced months ago.
It will make life harder if I’m travelling to compete at events.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the difference between the rules in Scotland and England plays out and where the exemptions fall.
It looks like the Scottish and English golfers are going to be having to abide by different rules when it comes to quarantine.
In England, it looks like those who travel to a non-red zone country won’t have to quarantine, but in Scotland you will have to quarantine every time you return to the country.
It will depend how much flexibility there is for the Scottish golfers on the European Tour and whether elite athlete exemptions apply as it is uncertain at the moment.
When we get to European Tour events we are in a significant bubble. We are tested before we get to enter the bubble, we have our temperature taken every day, we maintain social distancing and we are tested when we leave the bubble.
We are heading into uncharted territory again with so much uncertainty, but hopefully with the high vaccination uptake we will see the numbers of coronavirus cases drop rapidly over the coming weeks and months so things can open up again.
Use of range finders may slow play
The PGA of America have announced they will permit distance-measuring devices at the PGA Championship in May in a bid to combat slow play, but I fear it is going to have the opposite effect.
Players will be permitted to use range finders at the second major of the season as well as the Women’s PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship.
Any European Tour player or caddie would be able to laser a par-three using one of these devices and tell you the yardage.
But the player or caddie would also want to know how elevated the pin if it’s a tiered green or the landing area if there is a bunker at the front of the green.
It is just another element to throw into the mix.
For most golfers who play without a caddie, it definitely speeds up play.
But professional golfers who are accompanied by caddies with a high level of knowledge are still going to look at a yardage book.
I don’t think it will be beneficial for the pace of play. It’s more likely to add extra time to rounds, which is not what we want.
Some struggles but plenty of positives
The first three European Tour events were a really mixed bag for me.
There were lot of positives, especially the way I played in Abu Dhabi.
I actually missed the cut, but I came away feeling like my game was in a place to win this year.
It felt like everything was moving in the right direction and I felt like I played really well but just didn’t get the rewards I deserved.
I didn’t play as well in Dubai, but I still managed to make the cut.
I really struggled with my swing, which was strange after playing so well the week before.
It got worse at the Saudi International and I didn’t play well at a venue with a second shot golf course, which should really suit my game.
It was disappointing not to get some high finishes, but I came away from the trip feeling like the things I’m working on are starting to pay dividends.