The CEO of PureGym has come in for heavy criticism after dismissing golf as a “rich people’s sport".
Reacting to news that outdoor sports will be able to resume in England from March 29, Humphrey Cobbold implied that the news would have very little bearing on the majority of the population as he made the case for gyms, such as his, to be re-opened.
“It’s all very well to hear that tennis and golf will be re-opening at the end of the month but, let’s be honest, those are rich people’s sports,” Cobbold, a multi-millionaire Cambridge University graduate, told Sky News.
“Gyms are the preferred way that the average man or woman on the street gets out and gets their activity. Over ten million people do their exercise and activity this way and they are absolutely desperate to get back for the benefits of physical and mental wellbeing that gyms provide.”
'It's all very well to hear that tennis and golf will be reopening, but let's be honest, those are rich people's sports.'— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 22, 2021
PureGym CEO Humphrey Cobbold says he fully agrees with the "notion of caution" but "we really need to get people back to fitness".https://t.co/IHKqFrRlK1pic.twitter.com/C7Xb6RK0E6
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday laid out a roadmap for England’s exit from COVID-19 restrictions. Golf and other outdoor sports will be able to resume from March 29 at the earliest, with gyms required to wait a further fortnight until April 12 at the earliest.
Suffice to say, Cobbold’s comments were not well received by golfers on social media, with leading caddies Craig Connelly and Mark Fulcher – loopers for Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari respectively – amongst those to criticise him.
I paid £250 for my season ticket at my local municipal golf course. That's just over £20p/m... Rich peoples sport my arse! https://t.co/mdPaZ55A9a— Craig Connelly (@theweeman77) February 22, 2021
Many others chimed in, too…
What a dreadful, lazy comment from Humphrey. Bizarre generalisation.— Steve Martin (@MCSaatchiSteveM) February 23, 2021
Someone better tell my bank manager. Appears to be a problem with my balance.— Golf Dad (@GolfDad11) February 23, 2021
Yep gym membership is the same monthly as my golf membership! What a Wally!..he’s living in the dark ages regarding golf, it’s more affordable now than its ever been! And my son brought COVID home from the gym and gave it to me too!!— gilbere71 (@gilbere713) February 22, 2021
He totally undermines his argument by knowing nothing about golf club fees, my wife pays £50/mth for her gym membership £600/year c.f. my Golf Membership fo £670.— Alf. S (@AlfSheppard) February 22, 2021
I'm an engineer and my mates a bus driver! We're are obviously loaded and just working for a laugh!!! Tool!!!— Gary Hague (@gazhagu) February 23, 2021
I’ve literally just cancelled my Puregym membership on the back of this.— Nigel Haworth (@nth09) February 22, 2021
Gym membership is more than my golf membership— Roger Fleming (@Roge_golf) February 22, 2021
Rubbish......Greatest golfers of all time...Hogan, Trevino, Player, Ballesteros +++, are all working class!— Nigel Shaw (@GNgolfpro) February 22, 2021
As an electrician from a very working class family who’s dad introduced me to the game by sneaking me on my local course at Arbroath , for a Cambridge graduate to tell me it’s a rich mans sport is irony personified. I hope his butler shits in his kettle.— Single Putt Al (@Alanfairweather) February 22, 2021