Golf Courses in England WILL Close During Lockdown
Despite a valiant effort by golfers and the wider industry to make a case for the game stay open, England Golf has confirmed in a letter to clubs and facilities that national lockdown measures introduced across England will force the closure of venues throughout the country from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December 2020, to the great disappointment of many.
Elsewhere, following widespread restrictions that were introduced in October, golf courses in Wales are set to reopen on Monday 9th November. In Scotland, play continues as things stand, but golfers have been requested not to travel to and from areas rated at level 3 on the new five level system.
Courses within Northern Ireland have remained open despite increased restrictions, while those in the Republic of Ireland have been closed since October.
But in England, it's Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO of England Golf, who has broken the news, stating in the following letter:
"It is with a feeling of deep regret that we must now inform all affiliated golf clubs and driving ranges that they should prepare to close from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December 2020.
"Pending a vote today in the House of Commons, the UK government has confirmed these closures are required as part of increased national lockdown measures designed to suppress the spread of Covid-19, save lives and protect the NHS.
"England Golf, as the governing body for the amateur game and alongside our colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, respectfully, but vigorously challenged government to argue the case for golf courses to remain open.
"As an open-air sport played by limited numbers in a vast outdoor setting which naturally lends itself to social distancing, we lobbied that golf should continue to be played in accordance with our government-approved ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ framework.
"With the Prime Minister actively encouraging family households and up to two individuals from different households to exercise in the open air without limit, we strongly believe that golf courses should have remained open as an extension to recreation even if it was necessary to close clubhouses and professional shops.
"Participants would have been able to enjoy the obvious physical rewards of playing the game, but perhaps more importantly, the benefits to their mental health at a time of disruption to normal life.
"The government engaged in detailed conversation, but has decided not to amend its original guidance and we would ask all clubs and golfers to respect the legislation that is set to come into force overnight.
"England Golf staff remain available to support golfers, clubs and counties throughout this period of temporary closure.
"We will signpost to relevant information and government advice where we can and as quickly as possible with the help of our Club Support Officer network.
"We will also maintain an open line of communication with government in a bid to allow courses and facilities to re-open at the earliest opportunity.
"Please continue to check our social media channels and website for all the latest updates on golf and the Covid-19 situation.
"I’m proud of the incredible support golf has received from so many quarters in the last few days – a sure sign of how much our game means to so many people in the country.
"We will spend the next four weeks strengthening our network and building on this fantastic momentum to make sure that golf is never again in the position of having to close its doors when it can do so much to help support the country’s route out of the pandemic."
At Golfshake, we are keenly aware just how disappointed much of our Community are by these events, but we are looking forward to the day when courses open their doors again.
Until that time - which hopefully will be an early Christmas present - we encourage you to keep track of the latest content on the website, especially with The Masters round the corner!
Remember - it won't be long until you can once again Play More & Play Better.
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