FAO: All golfers in England.
File this one under "Extremely Positive Developments".
Amid continued uncertainty over whether or not the country's golf courses will be forced to close when new COVID-19 mitigation measures come into effect on Thursday, what you are about to read must be considered very encouraging.
Craig Tracey, the Conservative MP for North Warwickshire & Bedworth and the co-chair of the All-Parliamentary Group for Golf, has tonight tweeted that he has held productive talks with the Government over the prospect of keeping courses open.
Referencing an online petition to exempt golf from the new restrictions, Mr. Tracey wrote: "Very positive conversation with Government tonight on making case for golf courses to remain open. Flagged the petition which at that time was 186k and rising."
He added: "Huge thanks to all bodies working with @ParliamentGolf for their work over last 24 hours to help."
Mr. Tracey's remarks will, rightly, give hope to England's golfers who have been left confused over the impact the retreat back into lockdown will have on the sport ever since Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the new measures in an address to the nation last night.
IMMELMAN ON MASTERS TRIUMPH, GOLF LOCKDOWN AND THE WORST PRESENTS TO GIVE A GOLFER!
Very positive conversation with Government tonight on making case for golf courses to remain open. Flagged the petition which at that time was 186k and rising....— Craig Tracey (@craig4nwarks) November 1, 2020
Huge thanks to all bodies working with @ParliamentGolf for their work over last 24 hours to help
An England-wide lockdown will come into effect in England on Thursday, November 5, and will last until December 2.
During this time, non-essential shops and hospitality will be forced to close, with restrictions on travel also being enforced. All household mixing has been banned, except for childcare and other support.
It has been reported that outdoor exercise and recreation is being encouraged and is unlimited but only within your household or bubble, on your own or with one other person from a different household.
However, it is unclear where golf fits into that.
Despite courses and driving ranges being listed on the government website amongst the facilities that will be required to close, England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson said in an open letter to the country's golfers earlier today that the organisation has received no such directive.
In the same piece, Tomlinson pledged to "respectfully challenge" any order to close the country's courses.