Golfers of the Rebulic of Ireland are furious and confused, after it was announced by the GUI and ILGU that all golf clubs in the country must close under Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.
The new restrictions are scheduled to be in place for six weeks and golf lovers in the country cannot understand why an outdoor sport like golf needs to be put on hold.
The GUI and ILGU were in ongoing talks with Sport Ireland and on Wednesday afternoon made a statement to confirm that all golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland must close.
“Following intensive engagament over the past 48 hours, we have been informed this afternoon by Sport Ireland that, very regrettably golf clubs must close under the new level 5 restrictions,” the statement read.
“Essential course maintenance is permitted to continue under level 5. We have sought clarity on the issuse as to whether ranges/practice facilities can remain open for exempted activities. We will update clubs on this as soon as possible.”
Golfers took to social media to vent their frustations about the decision to force golf clubs to close, with some golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland saying they will not close their doors, despite the statement.
Ronan McGrath, employee at Cregmore Park Golf Club, said: "Ridiculous. We at Cregmore Park will not be closing to our members who live within a 5km radius. They are free to make use of the facilities that they have ALREADY paid for at the beginning of the year; the same members who kept us afloat during the recession.
"Parks are open nationwide for people to exercise and maintain their mental health. Our golf course is no different for our members that live within the 5km zone. There is no other facility close by for them to avail of during the next six weeks. We commit to looking after them.
"Our golf club as a business, like many other businesses around the country, is closed for the next six weeks. We are taking no green fee golfers. Our course is open for members who live within the 5km limit to utilise and enjoy. Their mental and physical health will benefit enormously."
The comments section of the GUI's tweeted statement received multiple replies from angry golfers, who just can't get their head around the decision.
Laughably misguided.— Tron Carter (@TronCarterNLU) October 22, 2020
Absolute joke. Socially distancing providing a great outlet for exercise and mental health release for hundreds of thousands of people. NPHET destroying the country.— Gavin Morris (@morrga) October 21, 2020
Another poor decision to an outlet for people to meet and safely social distance. Along with the affect it’s going to have financially on clubs who are barely surviving. Do they actually even realise what golf contributes both socially and economically to communities?? Pathetic— David A. Minogue (@Davidonsitegolf) October 21, 2020
I can't understand how the Irish FAI, GAA and IRFU sporting codes can continue when there is direct physical contact between 30+ players, all the time while there is physical distancing being observed by golfers and longer t-times by groups of 3 to 4 players?— Martin Lanigan (@Martin_LFC_) October 21, 2020
SAME RULE FOR ALL.!
9 cases from sporting activities last week I doubt many came from the golf course but hey close them down pic.twitter.com/ezmzMizJOU— Andrew ryan (@Andrewr94696747) October 21, 2020
Golf courses are one of the safest places to be in these times, close the pro shops and move everything online— Mick Daffy (@Highballsinlow) October 21, 2020
Ridiculous decision from an already ridiculous joint government!