U-TURN! - Golf courses in Wales now allowed to re-open

Wales Golf Flag

The Welsh Parliament and Wales Golf have today announced that courses there are free to re-open from Monday if they so choose.

In a statement published this afternoon, Wales Golf said: "Following recent Welsh Government announcements and the revision of certain COVID-19 related restrictions, golf clubs are permitted to open if they so wish.  

"It is entirely at each golf club’s discretion as to whether they choose to open and if so when they choose to do so. We would advise that clubs that do wish to re-open do not do so immediately so as to ensure they have sufficient protocols in place to adhere to these guidelines, which we will be on hand to assist with. 

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"This would allow for a managed and co-ordinated reintroduction of golf across Wales from next Monday 18 May at the earliest."

There had been some confusion over whether or not courses in Wales would be allowed to resume play following the easing of coronavirus restrictions announced by UK Prime Minister in a televised address to the nation on Sunday.

Boris Johnson's announcement appeared to pave the way for courses to re-open - Scotland having already indicated its intention to remain closed - only for Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford to release a video statement, in which he said that "our advice has not changed" and that the "position is rather different in Wales". 

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Less than 48 hours later, he appears to have changed tack under pressure from Andrew Davies, the former leader of the Welsh Conservatives. According to The Telegraph, Davies has said, “there is no reason why golf shouldn't resume in Wales if Mark Drakeford can walk through busy streets in Cardiff”. 

The Wales Golf statement added: "Wales Golf would urge all member clubs and golfers to comply with the regulations in a responsible manner.

"If clubs or members are found to be in breach of these guidelines then it could lead to [the] Welsh Government introducing measures that force golf courses to close."

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