‘Open golf clubs’ petition passes 100,000 signatures

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 7, 2021 18:38

A petition to reopen golf courses during the current lockdown in England has passed 100,000 signatures – the threshold for the UK government to consider any petition on its website for debate in parliament.

It is the second time in a little over two months that a petition to keep golf courses open during a coronavirus lockdown quickly surpassed the threshold. 

On January 4, the UK government announced that new coronavirus restrictions in England, effectively starting immediately and to remain in place for at least the rest of January and probably much longer, would mean that golf courses and driving ranges must close.

Called ‘Allow golf to be played with appropriate safety measures’, the petition states: ‘The government should allow golf courses to remain open during the lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.’

Several golf clubs have shared it on social media.

Currently golf is banned in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but it can be played in Scotland in a maximum of two-ball groupings [two players playing together]. Before England entered a full lockdown golf was permitted to be played in all tiers, including even the most restrictive one, Tier 4, also under a maximum two-ball system.

Richard Haygarth, chairman of the UK Golf Federation, said: “Since golf reopened in May the industry has shown that it can operate safely. The mental and physical health benefits of golf are widely accepted and during the current lockdown people can walk and cycle with one other person on a golf course but not play golf.”

The PGA added: “We made a strong case in recent months to keep golf open during the national lockdowns and in the regional tier system.

“Please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible.”

A Texas Medical Association chart rated golf as the same risk as going for a walk, run or bike ride with others. Only tennis ranked safer among sports. Golf participation boomed in 2020 largely because the sport has been seen as a safe one to play during a pandemic.

Last month the UK’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, was presented with a paper that stated that golf can be played safely in line with Covid-restrictions.

Culture secretary hears evidence that golf can be played during a lockdown

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 7, 2021 18:38
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9 Comments

  1. Dave January 11, 12:37

    Yet another knee jerk contradictory reaction to a situation the government and advisors just dont seem grasp. Exercise is paramount to health but you are now not allowed to drive a few miles to partake yet millions are travelling miles every week to a covid hot spot test centre where the majority test negative but that is considered sensible. ???? Surely driving a few miles to play golf, go fishing play outdoor tennis or go for a walk in the open air is far more sensible and should be encouraged not banned.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Haggis93 January 9, 17:10

    I hope when the petition is discussed in Parliament Golf doesn’t get banded together with Gyms and Swimming pools. They are both indoor exercises totally separate entitity from golf let it be judged on its own healthy outdoor exercise.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dave January 11, 12:36

      Yet another knee jerk contradictory reaction to a situation the government and advisors just dont seem grasp. Exercise is paramount to health but you are now not allowed to drive a few miles to partake yet millions are travelling miles every week to a covid hot spot test centre where the majority test negative but that is considered sensible. ???? Surely driving a few miles to play golf, go fishing play outdoor tennis or go for a walk in the open air is far more sensible and should be encouraged not banned.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Denno January 9, 16:41

    Now Angling,a really valid form of exercise,
    HAS been re-instated, but NOT Golf ? ?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jimbo January 12, 12:00

      Can’t even begin to understand how fishing is a form of exercise? Sitting down for hours, drinking beer and casting your rod every now and then!! How is it that the Scottish think it is safe to play and not the English Government…..seriously!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Hosking January 8, 15:57

    No point in signing this again, Boris and his team have no clue what goes on at golf clubs, they have no idea of how well prepared everyone is for COVID prevention, they just don’t understand the benefits that playing golf brings to the people.
    The ONLY sport that can be done 100% with your own equipment, no need to touch ANYTHING that has been touched by anyone else and social distancing is very very easy on the golf course.
    I guess my putting mat will have to do for the next month or so

    Reply to this comment
  5. Phil D January 8, 08:16

    Not signing this time. As, really don’t think it will make any difference. At start of November lockdown Parliament stated that any future rule changes would not be considered

    Reply to this comment
  6. KAllen January 8, 02:44

    Signed yesterday but a waste of time as the Baffoon has already stated in Parliament that it is necessary to close golf courses – obviously they must therefore be a major transmitter of the virus! More mindless, illogical policies from this excuse for a Prime Minister.

    Reply to this comment
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