‘All UK golf courses must now close’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 24, 2020 09:21

England Golf, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf have all issued statements saying that their affiliated clubs must close with immediate effect and that golfers should stay at home.

However, greenkeepers can still attend work – click here for more information.

The prime minister issued an extraordinary statement to the nation at 8.30pm last night saying that the country was effectively in lockdown due to coronavirus. It wasn’t immediately clear what this meant for golf courses as parks are not being closed down and we are allowed to leave the home once a day for a walk, but the industry appears to have quickly united with a clear message.

‘Following on from the prime minister’s statement of 23 March, golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close,’ says a statement from England Golf.

‘It is England Golf’s position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice.

‘The government has identified an urgent need to introduce new restrictions on public life and on non-essential businesses opening their doors.

‘This has been done to limit the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the growing pressure on our National Health Service.

‘Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency.

‘The health and wellbeing of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history.

‘These are incredibly testing times for the country. The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life.

‘We would like to assure the golfing community that England Golf staff will continue to work remotely with all affiliated golfers, clubs and counties to try and minimise the damage caused by this suspension of regular golf club life.

‘We will continue to signpost clubs and counties to the latest government advice and schemes designed to help the economy cope with the disruption caused by coronavirus.’

‘While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is clear, we must stay home and play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19,’ adds Scottish Golf.

‘With this in mind, Scottish Golf asks that all golfers in Scotland refrain from golfing until further notice.

‘We understand that this advice will have a significant impact on golf clubs across the country and we will continue to consult with industry partners to provide clubs with all information and support possible during this time of deep uncertainty.

‘We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so.’

Wales Golf tweeted: ‘Following the P.M.’s statement it is clear that golf clubs, courses & facilities must close with immediate effect. Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with gov policy which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency.’

Jim Croxton, the CEO of greenkeeping association BIGGA, added: ‘My understanding of the impact of tonight’s announcement – golf courses should close immediately. In my view some maintenance of courses is essential. We are lobbying for that to be more than the bare minimum, otherwise golf will take months to recover when the crisis is over.’

For any UK golf club interested in accessing financial support, there is more information here.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 24, 2020 09:21
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12 Comments

  1. Chris M March 30, 11:36

    Course close staff on furlough life first

    Reply to this comment
  2. Erik March 25, 17:21

    I would like to add that the golf courses should remain open, but higher risk people should stay away. for example, over 60 (age) people who are at higher risk, should stay home and isolate themselves from everyone.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Jonathan F March 25, 17:19

    Where am I going to wear my Pringle pullover now !!

    Reply to this comment
  4. djm March 25, 12:35

    So England Golf, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf have all issued statements saying that their affiliated clubs must close with immediate effect…….

    A sports” industry” quango in control of independent traders. Who knew ?

    Reply to this comment
  5. Julian L March 25, 09:36

    Wide open and mostly private spaces, fresh air and good exercise…

    Reply to this comment
    • Jason March 25, 12:48

      Absolutely – Our course had taken all possible precautions in terms of holes being upturned, ball washers bagged up, club-house closed etc. Allowing somewhere safe to go potentially ensures cabin fever doesn’t lead them to go somewhere not safe!

      Reply to this comment
  6. Paul March 24, 17:48

    This crisis is providing many lessons. Clearly we have a significant number of citizens that are unable to follow specialist and scientific advice. They would rather “wing it” and potentially put many others at risk. The risk is that many will die from a horrible disease that “eats” the lungs and ultimately results in a lonely death.
    The civilised and intelligent will listen to the advice and delay their golf until it’s safe to play again.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Mike R March 24, 16:13

    Of course golf courses should be allowed to remain open – see this is where common sense eludes the decision makers. With all due respect, walk or ride – if you ride, each take a cart, good revenue for the club – or walk. In my groups theres usually lots of distance between eachother until we reach the green. Then use common sense.

    Reply to this comment
    • Eric D March 24, 16:36

      I disagree with the cart portion of your statement. As a golf course operator, I would hate to hear of someone getting sick or who was sick infecting others. Can’t control what happens on 50-250 acres of property walking let alone riding

      Reply to this comment
  8. Antonette March 24, 12:43

    As we all know, a small group is member of a golfclub. But every single person who has a golf set at home…. Even way under a layer of dust….. will call themselves a golfer. So if the golfcourse is the only sportclub that is open. It will be a crowd in a blink of an eye in every region.

    So only go outside when you need to go to work, get groceries or need to help someone.
    Come out and play as much as you like, have a drink and some food at #19 as soon as the courses are open. Help them at that time to get through the difficult times.
    But for now #stayhome

    Reply to this comment
  9. Peter March 24, 11:58

    Hurrah !!! The right thing to do !!! Here in Arizona our “so-called’ leader, optic loving gutless Governor, declared Golf Courses an essential business along with Gun Shops who can stay open !!! Amazing the arrogance !!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Wilco March 24, 09:42

    There are 3 new local rules, so you guy’s get it:

    Only go outside if…

    1 you need to to to work
    2 you need to get some grocerys
    3 you need to help some one

    Thats it, so stay f#@&ing home

    Reply to this comment
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