On Monday night, the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown, telling the public "you must stay at home" and explaining that you are only allowed out if it is absolutely necessary, but one form of exercise per day is recommended.
Many of us who have already been working from home and avoiding social contact with others have been turning to the golf course as our form of exercise, with clubs up and down the country taking the necessary precautions to limit contact, such as removing rakes from bunkers, asking you not to touch the flag and closing clubhouses.
Golf has so far been an excellent way for people to get out of the house and get some fresh air, but after the PM's recent order, England Golf released a statement informing all golf clubs that they must now close.
"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.
"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.
"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."
The news sparked a debate on Twitter as many believe it is the wrong decision to shut down golf clubs during the lockdown, especially while parks and other recreational areas remain open.
Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement tonight (23 March), golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close.— England Golf (@EnglandGolf) March 23, 2020
Read the full statement here: https://t.co/nNdk20LhdW pic.twitter.com/eQg0BWlKG1
"I understand the pressure you are under to back the government. I am not convinced it is the right decision. I don't just play for exercise but also for my mental health recovery wellness plan. It’s the safest place to be playing by yourself. No contact no danger?" said one amateur golfer on Twitter.
The point that many people are making is that the golf course can still remain a safe environment for the public to get their daily requirement of exercise.
The Prime Minister said that you are allowed out for exercise once a day, which includes walking and jogging. Why is it safe to jog with someone at a safe distance but not play golf with someone?
If everyone continued to follow the temporary rules that had been put in place on the golf course, by keeping a good distance away from your playing partner and resist touching flags, then it seems odd not to class golf as a safe form of exercise during the current health crisis.
Others commented on England Golf's statement on Twitter, some supporting the closure of clubs, while others questioned the decision.
Read some of the replies below, or click the tweet earlier in the article to see more.
"Mental. “Parks remain open” Above and beyond gov guide lines. Individual golf is safe and a form of excercise. You may have just bankrupted dozens of clubs."
"Correct decision. Quit moaning idiots! #StayAtHome"
"100% support any measure we need to take to combat covid-19 but the courses should be left open.Golfers are sensible and it’s in a field out in the open air. Im going out for a cycle in the open air later,what’s the difference?"
"If you're saying this is the wrong decision you're a clown. End of."
"Ridiculous! Safer on a golf course than anywhere else (certainly supermarkets!) and excellent exercise. 2m zone easily maintained! A good walk SPOILED!"
"It’s not a drama. Just ask anyone who works in a hospital. STAY HOME."