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A prominent UK politician has called for the country’s golf courses to be re-opened – so that people can exercise on them during the coronavirus lockdown.

The vast majority of Britain’s courses closed a fortnight ago after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson tightened restrictions on the public’s movements amid the pandemic.

Greenkeepers have been able to continue to maintain them but on the condition that they carry out essential maintenance tasks only. 

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The restrictions are set to be reviewed later this week to establish how effective they have been in helping to slow the spread of the disease. 

However, former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas believes that the country’s golf courses should be re-opened and made available for all to use. 

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“It’s surely common sense to create as much open space as possible to allow socially-distanced exercise,” said the Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion. “Let’s open up golf courses to the public (there are 300,000 acres of them across UK) and give people more room to walk and run.”

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Lucas is now supporting a petition started by ‘Friends of the Earth’ campaigner Guy Shrubsole to have courses opened up to the public. 

“Instead of closing public parks during coronavirus, we should be opening up private green spaces so there’s more room for everyone to exercise safely,” said Shrubsole.

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“There are 300,000 acres of golf courses across the UK – ten times more space than we give to allotments – and 48,000 acres of golf courses within London and its Green Belt alone.

“Why not open them up to public for exercise?”

At the time of writing, Shrubsole’s petition has collected 974 signatures.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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