While golf courses in England have remained open after Boris Johnson introduced new tier 4 restrictions to part of the country, golf clubs in Wales will not have the same fortune, with all golf clubs being forced to close under the Welsh Government's level four alert.
The Welsh Government's guidance on level four confirms that public parks will remain open, but leisure and fitness facilities, sports courts, enclosed pitches and golf courses will all close under the latest restrictions.
Following the First Minister's announcement that saw the new restrictions come into action from the 19th December, Wales Golf updated its website to confirm that all golf clubs in the country must now close and an update will be provided once they have further information.
A GolfMagic reader from Llanelli in the South of Wales was furious with the decision to close golf courses: "I just can't get my head around it! Surely it would have been possible to just limit the number of people we can play with and continue to allow us to enjoy golf.
"It's been a real saviour both physically and mentally for me and a lot of my friends and now it's been taken away from us once again."
Wales Golf CEO Richard Dixon made a statement following the announcement, thanking golf clubs in Wales for their excellent work in keeping the community safe.
"I would like to thank all our Welsh Clubs for the excellent work you have been doing in helping to keep our sport, golfers and communities safe," said Dixon. "By continuing this effort, we will put golf in a strong position to return as soon as it is safe to do so.
"We are disappointed that Golf clubs face closure during tier 4 restrictions (equivalent to a lockdown/ firebreak). However, we will continue to work hard behind the scenes and have today issued the following statement clarifying Wales Golf’s position:-
"Wales Golf feels there is a strong case for golf courses to remain open alongside public parks and playgrounds under Tier 4 restrictions and continues to work with the Welsh Government to make this point.
"We totally understand the wider concerns, but golf is a sport that can be played safely outdoors while providing exercise. The whole golf industry has adapted to the restrictions imposed to ensure people’s safety, developed significant operational experience and established COVID secure practices, including rule changes and other mitigation measures that meet the Hands, Face, Space directive.
"The health and wellbeing benefits of playing golf are well documented in scientific studies. Leaders in public health, public policy and sport from across the globe recognise that golf tackles physical inactivity and contributes to the prevention of a range of non-communicable diseases. Combining the undeniable benefits golf offers to a significant proportion of the country, and the steps taken that ensure golf is a sport that can be played safely, it is ideally placed to be able to be played safely under lockdown restrictions.
"Our colleagues in the golf industry around the UK are also united in pushing these messages. We want to assure golfers in Wales we are representing them at the highest levels."