‘My health has deteriorated because I couldn’t play golf in November’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 28, 2020 07:59

A golfer has detailed how important golf is to his life, and in particular his health, amid calls for golf to be exempt from any future pandemic lockdown.

Writing in The Telegraph, Leonard Wren, 63, a member of East Brighton Golf Club, detailed that his mental health deteriorated during the 28 day lockdown in England that started in early November.

As a bus driver he also stated how unfair it is that he has driven people on public transport so they can partake in leisure activities, but can’t participate in the one activity he’d like to, even though there is no evidence that it is unsafe.

‘I have been getting these headaches since they have shut my golf course,’ he wrote. ‘I have also been up and down at night, fidgeting and unable to settle and sleep.

‘It happened during the first lockdown and now it has been happening again. It’s because I’m not playing golf and have nowhere to wind down. I call them “stress headaches” because that’s exactly what they are.

‘I’m 63 and a bus driver in Brighton. I do eight to 10 hour shifts and what gets me is that I have all these passengers getting on and travelling miles to go to places like country parks for the day. I think to myself “why are you going out? It’s supposed to be for essential trips only. There are plenty of places locally you can go for exercise”.

‘And then, when my shift ends, the government tell me I can’t go and enjoy my hobby, when there is no chance of catching Covid whatsoever. They say it’s to do with golfers travelling to courses, but there are so many travelling on public transport for their leisure activities, that’s just not right.

‘When we came back we played car-park golf. So we arrived, changed in the car park, played in two balls, with 10 minute intervals… it worked fantastically well. So for the life of me I couldn’t understand why when they announced the tighter restrictions that we couldn’t just go back to that.

‘Golf is the best sport for socially distancing and we gained quite a few members at my club, East Brighton. Loads more were enjoying the health benefits, not just from a physical perspective, but mentally, too. I know I was. Golf gives me that chance to relax and recharge my mind. It’s also great for companionship. I know a few old boys who rely on it and must be feeling very lonely.

‘East Brighton [news on a recent fire at the club can be found here] is a great club with all sorts as members and it makes me laugh when people call it a “posh sport” and that the government doesn’t want to be seen to be going easy on it. There are builders, postmen, bus drivers, solicitors, company directors, doctors, lawyers. It’s a big cross section and that gives it a terrific atmosphere.

‘I look at all these cyclists out and about enjoying their passion, and anglers too. So why not golf? It’s harming nobody and helping so many. I’ve taken to walking around my course, thinking how daft it is that I can’t hit a few shots. I can’t wait until I can again. The headaches will disappear then.’


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 28, 2020 07:59
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  1. Tyrell Hatoff January 23, 10:16

    Golf courses are the most dangerous places for catching Covid-19 and so must stay closed for as long as possible. I know someone who played golf in March and then caught a nasty cold in August which proves my point. Government statistics show that 30% of all covid patients have played golf at least once in their lives.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Usman Yousaf December 11, 16:27

    Thanks for using my photo =)

    Reply to this comment
  3. Webb December 5, 13:47

    As long as golf clubs take the necessary precautions, social distancing, etc, etc I consider a golf course one of the safest places for anyone, the fresh air, exercise, and a few hours of pleasure and a healthy lifestyle. #staysafe #staywell #stayhealthy #lifeworthliving

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  4. Peter December 2, 12:30

    Nice try !! While being outdoors, getting physical exercise and cardiovascular strength is good, the more activity we have at clubs, the more we risk creating unsafe environments !! The more we run the risk, of becoming spreaders, especially to families at home !! !! I believe Clubs that allow singles or twosomes walking should try to stay open !! Otherwise if infection rates are on rise, Clubs should close !!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Burns December 2, 12:29

    Great piece about the importance of golf as a leisure activity, one that helps us relax, get some fresh air and to be with some friends.

    Reply to this comment
  6. PReeve November 29, 21:46

    How is everyone’s health as we hide away? Doing a great job protecting the NHS but the long term impact is now becoming a monster that maybe bigger than any COVID threat. What say you?

    Reply to this comment
  7. DeborahB November 29, 15:02

    Definitely good for your health, and your soul. ️‍♀️⛳️ ️‍♂️
    #golf #orcagolfbags #womenentrepreneur #sports #health #fitness

    Reply to this comment
  8. Myers November 29, 13:33

    This article proves that there’s no better time to promote mental health to members and provide some guidance in developing coping mechanisms.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Ian S November 29, 12:11

    The only stressful thing encountered recently despite the obvious.

    Is the fact the booking systems implemented recently/ nationally has had a barring.

    For nearly 21 years Sunshine Rain or Blustery conditions
    16- 24 hardy individual’s have had a commodore any special forces would be proud off
    Nothing deters us
    Until now.

    It has become a lottery for some
    Still working
    would those of you retired please give consideration for those wanting to participate at the Weekend.

    Fingers on the button from 7.00pm this evening to try and get a Tee Time for next weeks eagerly anticipated Saturday Morning Return.
    Already a victim of no Tee time available Weds 2nd / Thursday 3rd. Dec.
    I’ll update you Tomorrow.

    It has become a issue with existing and new members recently.

    Especially now winter golf aligned with extended tee time intervals

    Does this resonate within your prospective Club ?

    Reply to this comment
  10. Jukka November 29, 09:44

    I feel you mate!

    Reply to this comment
  11. SwilkenBurn November 29, 02:21

    He’s right, never have our freedoms been taken away by such incompetence, the government and the opposition have really let the people down this year !

    Reply to this comment
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