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UK Golf Federation launch campaign to save golf in the coronavirus crisis

#KeepGolfOpen is aimed at uniting the industry with a 100,000-signature petition to ensure golf trades through the outbreak
 

Clubs, members, visitors and the entire golf industry are being urged to unite in a new campaign to #KeepGolfOpen during the coronavirus outbreak.

The UK Golf Federation, who aim to improve open access golf for everyone, have launched a petition with the ambition of reaching 100,000 signatures and gaining the Government’s support to keep courses open throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

They are fronting a two-pronged strategy – highlighting golf as a non-contact sport and emphasising the impact of what course closures could do to the industry.

The Federation believes as many as 30 per cent could go bankrupt during the pandemic if they aren’t kept open, a scenario affecting hundreds of thousands of employees and associated industries.

On golf as a non-contact sport, the petition, which can be found on the Change website, says: “Golf is unique as it requires no person to person contact. Okay, the clubhouse may be closed, but you can change in the car park, there is no reason to take the flag out these days and likely you can always remain two metres apart from your playing partners.

“Already, most golf courses have extensive plans with no cash, sanitising stations and open-door policies.”

Turning to the impact closure would have on the industry, the petition adds: “If golf courses are not kept open, potentially 30% could go bankrupt and close affecting hundreds of thousands of employees and associated industries.

“Also, if the course is closed and green staff stop maintaining the course it will take years to bring it back into the condition our golfers expect.

“Finally, just short of two million people play golf each week, many are under 70 years old!

“The loss of their recreational activity, social discussions and time spent with friends and partners walking in fresh air will be lost and could have serious unnecessary long-term effects on the health, physical and mental wellbeing of these golfers.”

In a statement, the Federation said while everyone fully understood the very serious issues coronavirus was presenting to the world, it was key for everyone to come together and get the message across to government.

“In this hour of need the golf industry will be looking to its leaders to help navigate them through these unknown times. Together, through our collective partners and members, we have the ability to create a viral petition that can reach these two million golfers through every channel possible and get our message across to the government to #KeepGolfOpen.”

Click here to sign the petition.

What do you think of the campaign? Will you be signing the petition? Have your say in the comments or tweet me.

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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