Suffolk golf club directors have been left ‘disappointed’ and ‘confused’ after they were again forced again to shut their courses.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new steps to try and contain the Covid pandemic, amid a second strain sweeping through the UK – and the closure of golf clubs was one of them.
However, having already shut down courses back in November, many associated with the sport in England say their mood hasn’t been helped with the news that golf in Scotland is currently allowed to continue despite there being a national lockdown north of the border.
Players in England had been able to play two-ball matches since courses re-opened last month.
Jenny Holmes, director at Fynn Valley Golf Club said: “It’s really disappointing because England Golf pretty much assured us we would not have to lock down again after the first time.
“I think we all feel let down and the fact you can play in Scotland is even more bizarre. It’s the depths of winter and golf provides a light for people to get out and exercise on the golf course, rather than crowded parks.
“I understand they don’t want people travelling. I understand they want people to keep local and I understand how serious the virus is. But I don’t understand when you are as good as promised one thing, and now we have this.
“Financially, this is another blow. We get no assistance from the Government, not many clubs do, maybe small clubs. We have the furlough scheme and our cafe gets a small grant because it was forced to close, but it doesn’t cover the running costs.”
Meanwhile, Stuart Robertson, director of golf at Ufford Park said: “I think England Golf did well to keep golf going even though most of the country were in tier four. But it’s now strange that you can play in Scotland, but not in England.
NO reason golf courses should be closed
“I appreciate Scotland has a different landscape to much of England. But I’d like to know what the real difference is between England golf courses having to close down and Scotland not. It’s a bit confusing to say the least.”
Meanwhile in a statement England Golf said:
“England Golf – as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf along with other leading industry bodies – is extremely disappointed with the news (of lockdown in England), having made a strong case in recent months to keep golf open during the national lockdowns and in the regional tier system.
“Please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible.”
Courses in Wales have been closed since December 19 and in Northern Ireland since December 26. In the Republic of Ireland the sport went back into lockdown on December 31.
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