Keep Golf Courses in England Open

Keep Golf Courses in England Open

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Golf is a game enjoyed by all age groups - young and old alike.

There are 1872 golf courses in England. This is the highest number of any country throughout Europe. In 2016, the R & A estimated UK golfers spent £4 billion on their sport and paid £1 billion in tax.

Since the first lockdown the uptake in golf has increased by at least 30% so this figure is considerably higher.

Of the estimated 1,000,000+ golfers who play regularly 48% are aged 50 and over.

Those that play at least once a week have an average age of 63.

This group in particular need the health benefits golf provides to stay fit, active, to improve their immune systems, as well as general health and mental wellbeing.

The closure of schools and businesses for 2 months allied to the closure of golf courses is a double whammy - occupation and pastime zapped at a stroke !

Grants and financial support are all well and good, but you can't buy health !

Golf is not an indoor activity.

It is not a contact sport

It does not share equipment

It is played outdoors

In fact, I could be describing 'cycling' when you look at the overview. Cycling is still permitted, how does golf differ ?

Golf also fits neatly into the new Government guidelines: 'You can exercise outdoors with your household, your support bubble or alone with one other person from another household. Exercise should be limited to once a day and should be local, meaning you should not drive to a beauty spot.'

Golf courses have adapted well to lockdown requirements keeping all players and staff safe. These include online booking for tee times, arrival 10 minutes before playing, one way pedestrian walkways, closing clubhouses, removal of rakes from bunkers and leaving the flagstick in the hole so as to avoid cross infection.

The reality is that more than 1 million people will take the required exercise through playing golf which in turn keeps them healthier, and very most likely keeps pressure off the health service as a result. Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease (22Trusted Source).

When the 'home of golf' in Scotland stays open through a national lockdown, then I believe we too in England should do also.

Mr Johnson, you do not need to incentivise golfers to take exercise, simply allow golf courses to stay open and stop more than 1 million people becoming couch potatoes for the next 2 months or more.

 

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