A new scientifically-backed report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf concludes it is more than safe for golf to return during the coronavirus lockdown in England.
The latest 13-page report by the APPG - titled 'Covid 19 Secure Golf in the United Kingdom 2021' - has been independently published by professor Charlie Foster, the Principal Advisor on Physical Activity for Health to the four UK Chief Medical Offiers, and Dr Andrew Murray, the Chief Medical Officer to the European Tour.
APPG's new report primarily discusses the health benefits of golf, along with Covid secure facilities and golf course preparation, the process on how golfers can go about playing the sport as safely as possible in limited forms, along with the possibility of even 9-hole games instead of 18-hole rounds.
The report, which is backed by the likes of the R&A and England Golf, also looks at how golf coaching can continue, the safe management of clubhouses, and the continued implementation of temporary provisions to the rules of golf.
"Overall, golf has the same health benefits as walking, cycling and running and, if anything, with the uncrowded nature of courses and strict protocols provided, risk of transmission during golf is lower than these other healthy enhancing physical activities," reads the introduction to the report.
"If scientific evidence is to be applied logically and consistently, golf should be permitted to return during the current phase of national lockdown, incorporating enhanced protocols appropriate for the new variant described in this paper."
The report concludes: "There is no doubt that the measures taken by the World Health Organisation, National Governments (and in particular the UK Government) and Public Health Authorities have saved lives.
"However, the evidence is consistent and growing that regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health.
"Golf, and other outdoor sports where physical distancing is possible, provides health enhancing physical activity across the lifespan and offers more control measures than persons walking or cycling on a busy road, street or beach.
"Scientifically, the benefits of permitting of golf with the enhanced Covid-19 protocols suggested for National Lockdown in this paper at this time very likely outweigh the disbenefits.
"The best available evidence suggests this is the right thing to do at this time."