UK scientific adviser: Yes play golf, but "keep a distance"

Sir Patrick Vallance says the key is to "avoid close contact" on the golf course...

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 18 Mar 2020
UK scientific adviser: Yes play golf, but "keep a distance"

UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has told the public they can still continue to play golf during the coronavirus outbreak but only if they "keep a distance."

The question about being able to go out and exercise and play outside sports such as golf was put forward by MP Dean Russell. 

Photo credit: Andy Hiseman

"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."

Reports have filtered into us this week of numerous golf club closures, or golf clubs keeping their courses open open for play but closing their clubhouses.

One golf club in London has gone as far to urge all its golfers not to touch the flag on any of the holes in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Photo credit: Andy Hiseman

Approximately 2 million people play golf each week. 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.

The PGA Tour last night revealed golf will not be played until the middle of May, with both The Masters and US PGA Championship being postponed for later in the year. 

Is your golf club still open? Are you going to keep playing golf if you are allowed? Share your thoughts on our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.