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Should these petitioners be able to walk all over YOUR golf course?

Influential MP Caroline Lucas is backing a petition calling for golf courses to be opened up to the public for exercise. What do you think?
 

A high profile MP has backed a petition calling for golf courses to be opened up to the public for exercise.

Caroline Lucas, the Brighton Pavilion MP and former Green Party leader, told her more than  450,000 Twitter followers that it was “surely common sense” for them to be used to give people “more room to walk and run”.

Following widespread criticisms of people packing into parks and open spaces in good weather this weekend – in apparent flouting of Government ‘lockdown’ rules – a number subsequently closed their gates.

That led Sunday Times journalist Rosamund Urwin to tweet:

Now a petition, started by Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole at Change.org and backed by Lucas, argues that: “Instead of closing public parks during coronavirus, we should be opening up private green spaces so there’s more room for everyone to exercise safely.

“There are 300,000 acres of courses across the UK – 10 times more space than we give to allotments – and 48,000 acres of golf courses within London and its Green Belt alone.

“Why not open them up to public for exercise, as journalist Rosamund Urwin and others have suggested?”

He added: “Rather than let our existing parks become overcrowded, it would be safer to open up more green spaces like golf courses.”

With clubs closed as a result of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, except for greenkeepers carrying out essential maintenance, Lucas’ intervention appears to be gathering support with, at the time of writing, her tweet having garnered than 3,000 likes.

But she also faced plenty of criticism from golfers and non-golfers alike.

What do you think of the petition and Lucas’s support for it? Let us know in the comments or tweet us.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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