Golf courses in England, Scotland and Wales have been told by their administrative bodies to stop allowing play as the UK continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Following new guidance issued this evening by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, England Golf, the governing body for the grassroots game in England, issued a statement calling on the approximately 1,900 courses in the country to shut temporarily.
Ir read: "Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement tonight golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close.
"It is England Golf’s position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice."
It went on: "Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency"
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"The health and wellbeing of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history.
"These are incredibly testing times for the country. The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life."
Shortly after the England Golf statement was published, Scottish Golf followed suit with a statement of its own.
It read: "While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is clear, we must stay home and play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19.
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"With this in mind, Scottish Golf asks that all golfers in Scotland refrain from golfing until further notice.
"We understand that this advice will have a significant impact on golf clubs across the country and we will continue to consult with industry partners to provide clubs with all information and support possible during this time of deep uncertainty.
"We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so."
In a tweet, Wales Golf said: "Following the P.M.’s statement it is clear that golf clubs, courses & facilities must close with immediate effect. Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with gov policy which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency."
A full statement from Wales Golf is expected on Tuesday morning.