Can I play golf during the Coronavirus lockdown?

Boris Johnson orders UK lockdown following coronavirus outbreak...

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 24 Mar 2020
Can I play golf during the Coronavirus lockdown?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a UK lockdown today (March 23) claiming "you must stay at home" - and so sadly that means no more golf for us golfers until further notice. 

A statement from England Golf confirmed the news we had all been dreading from a golfing perspective this evening: 

"Following on from the Prime Minister's statement tonight (March 23), golf clubs and golf courses in England must now close," read the statement. 

"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 the coronavirus."

Mr Johnson said he will review the situation within the next three weeks as to the next plan of action. 

So what are the new measures? 

> Shops selling "non-essential goods" including clothes and electronic will be closed immediately

> Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship will also close

> Gatherings of more than two people (excluding people who live together) will be banned

> There will be no wedding or baptisms, but funerals will be allowed

> Parks are to remain open, but people are only to go out to exercise ONCE a day - but this does not mean a round of golf 

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Mr Johnson claimed that should these rules not be followed then police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

It has been advised that people should not meet friends or family members that do no live with them.

Shopping must only be done for "basic necessities", and as infrequently as possible, while people should use delivery services where they can.

People can still travel to and from work, but only if it is "absolutely necessary."

Last week, golf was being encouraged by UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, but with a warning of making sure players kept their distance from one another. 

"Exercise is going to be key [especially for older people]," said Mr Russell. "If someone wants to play golf, can they still do that if they’re not close together?"

Sir Patrick Vallance replied "It is OK - if you keep a distance."

He added: "We’re not asking everyone to be completely isolated. The specific advice is to avoid close contact. A walk is OK if you keep a distance."

The PGA Tour and European Tour will return to action no earlier than late May because of the global spread of COVID-19, while the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour face a similar spell out of action.

That has meant a push back of The Masters and US PGA Championship to later in the year, if being staged at all. 

A number of mini tours have continued playing tournaments, however, but there has been no such luck for the PGA EuroPro Tour, which has sadly been forced into cancelling its entire schedule. 

TOUR PRO: "NO COMPETITIVE GOLF IS ABSOLUTELY GUTTING"

Approximately two million people play golf each week in the UK.

The loss of their recreational activity, social discussions and time spent with friends and partners walking in fresh air will be lost and could have serious unnecessary long-term effects on the health, physical and mental wellbeing of these golfers. 

SIGN THIS PETITION TO #KEEPGOLFOPEN IN THE UK