‘Why can you play golf in Scotland but not in England?’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 6, 2021 12:25

Managers and owners of English golf clubs have expressed their disappointment that they have to close their venues for a third time in less than a year due to new Covid-19 restrictions.

There was hope that courses could remain open after government officials were presented with a paper in December that stated how safe golf is during a pandemic, and this was renewed when golf was allowed in Tier 4 areas in England and in Scotland for a new national lockdown.

However, on July 4 the government confirmed that golf clubs must close again until at least the end of January.

Fynn Valley Golf Club. Image from Facebook

This means you can currently play golf in Scotland but not in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Jenny Holmes, director at Fynn Valley Golf Club in Suffolk said: “It’s really disappointing because England Golf pretty much assured us we would not have to lock down again after the first time.

“I think we all feel let down and the fact you can play in Scotland is even more bizarre. It’s the depths of winter and golf provides a light for people to get out and exercise on the golf course, rather than crowded parks.

“I understand they don’t want people travelling. I understand they want people to keep local and I understand how serious the virus is. But I don’t understand when you are as good as promised one thing, and now we have this.

“Financially, this is another blow. We get no assistance from the government, not many clubs do, maybe small clubs. We have the furlough scheme and our café gets a small grant because it was forced to close, but it doesn’t cover the running costs.”

Ufford Parl, Image from Facebook

Meanwhile, Stuart Robertson, director of golf at nearby Ufford Park, said: “I think England Golf did well to keep golf going even though most of the country were in tier four. But it’s now strange that you can play in Scotland, but not in England.

“I appreciate Scotland has a different landscape to much of England. But I’d like to know what the real difference is between England golf courses having to close down and Scotland not. It’s a bit confusing to say the least.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 6, 2021 12:25
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  1. JJ February 19, 08:44

    Can’t understand why you are allowed to go fishing on the beach,rivers and lakes along with other people fishing yet you can’t play golf were you are always distanced unless you are really good

    Reply to this comment
  2. Ogden January 21, 13:12

    The Government’s advice and rules do allow us all to take daily walking exercise in local parks. My golf club is a parkland course, so why am I not allowed to take my exercise there, with or without sticks in my hand and a ball at my feet?

    Reply to this comment
    • Bd March 4, 09:55

      I have been talking to England golf for many weeks,they freely admit when questioned they ordered their elite amateur golfers back to golf,yes ,elite. One course used was Rochford,there will have been others. England golf have treated their paying members terribly,I’ve had no messages about closures from them. I have a record of my corespondence with them,in which they admit yes they did that. Elite! Amateur golfers,not qualified professionals but elite amateurs. It stinks and so do they.

      Reply to this comment
  3. SaundersT January 12, 18:50

    Don’t forget us in Wales closed also!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Anil January 12, 14:02

    We need to look at golf in a complete positive approach to reap the benefits of the sport as a recreation that has so much to offer with it’s inherit structure. This is the “Go To” sport during this unprecedented COVID times.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Ned January 9, 18:52

    Unfortunately there are golfers who feel immune and will flaunt social distancing and play safe stay safe especially once out of sight of clubhouse which spoils it for the rest I feel. All I read is golf operates safe but rest assured not from what I have seen. Minority spoil I’m afraid

    Reply to this comment
  6. Beano January 7, 12:57

    Most of us practice social distancing normally on a golf course!!!!!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Swigels January 7, 10:07

    I do not understand that you can visit the garden centre with a lot of vulnerable people but you cannot play golf outside with one other person..

    Reply to this comment
  8. ErnieLong January 6, 22:07

    Do you mean the 4th of January not July, plus where did you get the info about clubs opening again at the end of Jan beginning of Feb. I hope youre right, whatever happens England Golf, the R&A heads must roll. Golf club members should be able to choose who they are represented by in future, as we have been failed badly, and not just re covid on many other issues. Do not forget this when corona is over !

    Reply to this comment
  9. Phil D January 6, 20:07

    Tough I agree courses should be open. But also pro shops and clubhouses being closed is no good to anyone

    Reply to this comment
  10. Meyer January 6, 13:52

    Can’t understand the need to close even in these dreadful times. The sport is outdoor, distanced from other players and usually small groups anyway.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Orchard January 6, 13:24

    I really do not understand yet you can still visit the garden centre….

    Reply to this comment
    • John February 4, 19:05

      I’m pretty paranoid about catching Covid and am over cautious when out, however when we were allowed to play even I didn’t feel threatened, surely the mental benefits out way the small infection risk. Nobody at our club broke the rules.

      Reply to this comment
  12. MichelleS January 6, 13:11

    Very disappointing

    Reply to this comment
  13. Neil F January 6, 13:01

    My thoughts are with you.

    Reply to this comment
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