bunkered.co.uk has discovered that almost HALF of the golf courses in Europe have been forced into temporary closure as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Our research has found that playing golf has been suspended in at least nine different countries across the continent as governments step up measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
At least 4,121 of Europe's 8,940 courses are currently in lockdown - 46.1%.
Germany accounts for the highest proportion of those, with all 1,050 of its layouts closed. A short statement on the German Golf Association website stated: "Play operations on golf courses are forbidden nationwide from Wednesday, March 18, 2020."
France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the Netherlands and Norway have also put a halt to golf for the time being, with similar measures in place in Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic.
All told, around TWO AND A HALF MILLION registered golfers have nowhere to play as a result of these closures.
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At it stands, there has been no blanket ban on golf in the UK and Ireland, although some council-run courses have shut in the last 24 hours, including all courses operated by North Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Council in the Scottish central belt.
The courses that are remaining open have been encouraged to implement a range of 'best practice' measures to combat the spread of the disease, including social distancing and putting with the flagstick in.
Professional golf has come to a near-complete standstill as a result of the sweeping pandemic.
Last night, the PGA of America followed the lead of The Masters by announcing the postponement of May's US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. Meanwhile, there will be no tournament golf played on either the European Tour or PGA Tour until May 21 at the earliest.