Prime Minister urged to allow golf to return

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to re-open golf courses when lockdown measures are eased.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 9:24 am
The Prime Minister is being urged to allow golf to return when lockdown is eased. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
The Prime Minister is being urged to allow golf to return when lockdown is eased. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The sport is 'exceptionally well placed to play a positive role in this first phase of recovery' from lockdown, England Golf CEO Jeremy Tomlinson wrote in an open letter to Number 10.

Golf was one of the first sports allowed to resume as the first lockdown eased last year.

And Mr Tomlinson hopes that will be the case once more as Mr Johnson is expected to announce easing of lockdown restrictions early next week.

"As you consider easing restrictions, I truly believe our great game of golf is exceptionally well placed to play a positive role in this first phase of recovery and should be given that opportunity by government," the letter read.

"(Monday's) confirmation that over 15 million people have received their first vaccination jab is just the shot in the arm we all needed.

"Combined with the rate of transmission slowing to the point where the ‘R’ number is below one, there are real signs that our sacrifices over recent times have paid off and our continued social distancing efforts will allow more interaction and freedoms in the future."

Mr Tomlinson believes that allowing courses to re-open safely would boost morale and aid mental and physical health.

He added: "But now we need to look ahead – to find a way to re-energise the nation through a programme of safe activity and exercise to lift the collective morale of the country.

"England Golf has been clear from the start – golf is a sport played safely in the open air with social distancing part and parcel of every round.

"With the introduction of our Play Safe, Stay Safe protocols after the first lockdown, we made our sport even more secure.

"I’m sure you will be aware that many golfers have already contacted their own MPs to make this point and no doubt many more will reinforce this view by voicing their support for an expedient, safe return to playing golf in the days ahead.

"For in excess of two million golfers in England, the mental and physical health benefits of playing our sport can be clearly documented. This isn’t anecdotal, this is based on solid scientific data.

"The fact that these benefits can be enjoyed without presenting any undue risk to wider public health is hugely significant and this point has been stressed again in recent correspondence with government."