Amateur golfers from across the UK have condemned the decision by the Westminster government to close golf courses in England when new COVID-19 mitigation measures come into effect tomorrow.
Earlier today, England Golf and the All-Party Parliamentary Group For Golf conceded defeat in their attempts to convince Prime Minister Boris Johnson to exempt the sport from the new restrictions, which are expected to last until at least December 2.
Consequently, golf clubs, courses and driving ranges are being instructed to comply with the measures when they come into effect at midnight.
England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson said that he was making the announcement "with a feeling of deep regret" and insisted that the organisation had "respectfully, but vigorously challenged government to argue the case for golf courses to remain open".
However, those efforts were to no avail, with all golf facilities in England now required to close for the first time since May 22, when the original spring lockdown ended.
"I TOOK UP GOLF AFTER THE TALIBAN TRIED TO KILL ME"
Naturally, the decision to close the country's golf facilities has not been well received.
Sky Sports Golf host and former European Tour player Nick Dougherty had strongly advocated for courses to remain open. After learning of today's news, he tweeted: "Thank you to all whom spoke up and supported the good that golf can do for mental and physical health at a time when that it is so important to so many. Don’t be deterred as it will still be important in a months time so let’s keep the light shining on the game."
Others were much less measured in their responses. Here's a snapshot of the reaction from social media...
How is this not safe?? Beautiful earlier today on the course. Anyone fancy meeting on the 1st tee for bit of Grouse shooting tomorrow??!! As I’m sure this is allowed. Absolute shambles from Boris and his cronies pic.twitter.com/72XKDareBA— Andy (@ScouseSaint42) November 4, 2020
Total overreaction... Hope it’s only for a month and it’ll be something to look forward to .. in the meantime at least I can do a bit of fishing— kev 1956 (@snaphappy56) November 4, 2020
It sucks. Shame I don't live near the Welsh/Scottish borders— Dan (@DanHill70) November 4, 2020
Absolute joke— Roy 'Coach' Roebuck (@rncoach13) November 4, 2020
No doubt the clowns in London will be happy to let demonstrators to meet up and do what they want with no retribution or know lets leave Unis and schools open and see if we can increase the spread of covid! Absolute bafoons— Andy (@andycromby) November 4, 2020
Typical of @BorisJohnson@10DowningStreet. Happy to promote people eating out on mass in restaurants potentially spreading this virus yet won't allow golfers to enjoy a round of golf on their own in wide open space. Moron!— Glen Tillotson (@pc_groovy) November 4, 2020
Pathetic @BorisJohnson@10DowningStreet. This unnecessary blanket ban, unsupported by any scientific evidence that you mention as driving every decision, will not be forgotten. The party of common sense no more.— Gerald Ribon (@GeraldRibon) November 4, 2020
Of course, in the interests of balance, it is important to point out that the replies were not unanimously negative...
I think if they’d agreed to golf being exempt it would open the flood gates to other sports. Maybe in a couple of weeks if the situation improves sports will be allowed to start again.— Keith Moody (@TheMighty5Iron) November 4, 2020
Brilliant news ! Greenkeepers will now be able to get much needed work done ! To much play as happened this summer ! Courses up and down the country will welcome this mini break ! Stop acting in self pity ! It’s not the end of world it’s 4 weeks !— Cameron kelly (@lfc16cameron) November 4, 2020
The latest lockdown - your thoughts?
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