Parliamentary Golf Group Chairman: “Reopening of Golf – Safe and successful but discipline must remain”
The Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, North Warwickshire MP Craig Tracey, has called the reopening of golf courses “safe and successful” a week after opening in England and yesterday in Wales, but reiterated the need for continued discipline by golfers and staff.
Tracey was speaking after chairing what has become a regular meeting of golf industry bodies, this time focused on the re-starting of golf and how clubs and other stakeholders involved in the sport had found re-opening.
“It was a very different meeting to those we have held recently” said Tracey. “All involved have worked incredibly hard to be in a position where golf could restart as soon as possible, so this time rather than focus on how to meet challenges, we were able to discuss how things had gone.
“And the overwhelming feedback was that the restarting of golf has been safe and successful. We heard that players were keeping to social distancing requirements with little or no instruction from staff and the new temporary rules were being diligently followed. With only two-balls being allowed, play has become faster and it was not surprising that many courses were at full capacity.
“I am sure colleagues will join me in congratulating all those at courses who went back to work and to players who have returned to golf with enthusiasm but care. However, that level of discipline when it comes to social distancing rules, in particular, is critical to ensure courses stay open and golf is able to remain at the forefront of the recovery. We need to be constantly mindful that if the R number increases, the Government is able to review their position and reinstate a greater degree of lockdown, either partially or wholly, which obviously we don’t want to see happen to our golf courses.”
Regular meetings of golf industry bodies have been taking place since lockdown began, taking place weekly with daily communication as things progressed. This has enabled golf to be in the position it is now, and there has been unexpected outcome as Tracey concluded:
“One of the terrific pieces of news that we had picked up on over the week, and was confirmed by industry bodies today, is the increase in membership applications and innovation that has resulted. This should be a really significant positive impact for the sport moving forward.”