'Golf can and should return quickly' says MP

Hopes of golf courses reopening before too long have been boosted by comments from the chairman of the UK Parliament’s All-Party Group for Golf.

Courses and clubhouses in the UK have been closed since the lockdown guidelines were implemented on 23 March. Picture: Getty Images
Courses and clubhouses in the UK have been closed since the lockdown guidelines were implemented on 23 March. Picture: Getty Images

In a report by thegolfbusiness.co.uk, North Warwickshire MP Craig Tracey has given a strong indication that the sport could be up and running again in the UK shortly.

“The initial challenges with lockdown meant golf had to close in Britain," said Tracey, who has taken part in virtual meetings with industry bodies, including the R&A, PGA, the UK Golf Federation and the British Golf Industry Association, over the last few days.

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"But the nature of the game means it can, and should, return quickly provided there are steps taken by all involved to maintain social distancing and to meet any other government instruction.”

The report said Tracey will be speaking to BIGGA, the greenkeeping association, along with the home golf unions in the next few days.

“There are so many elements and stakeholders in the golf sector that there is no single body that can or should dictate to others,” he added.

“However, all recognise the symbiotic relationship between the different elements and that any failing in one area could cause significant reputational damage.

“I would like to say well done to all the different bodies involved. What they are doing now will make a huge difference and has the potential to make golf all the stronger if this co-operative way of working can be continued.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf comprises MPs and peers from any political party and exists to support the sport of golf. It works closely with industry bodies to promote the sport and challenge issues it faces, including the coronavirus.

“Members of Parliament know how valuable golf is to the UK as it has a huge economic impact, employs large numbers across the UK and has significant positive influence on people’s health,” said Tracey.

Karin Sharp, the chief operating officer of Scottish Golf, revealed earlier this week that golf's return would be phased, starting with single golfers and household groups.

Courses in the UK have been closed since the lockdown guidelines were introduced on 23 March.

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