Two weeks into the second lockdown and the Angry Club Golfer still can't get his head around the injustice of golf courses being closed in England
I’m one sunny day away from leading a protest right into Downing Street. Although that’s a place I might actually get coronavirus.
Two weeks into this latest batch of supposed solitude and it still puzzles me why the Government thinks golf courses are some potential super-spreader event on a par with an MP’s photo op.
Queue outside the DIY store? Don’t worry. Office blocks full of workers with nary a mask in sight? No chance of infection there.
Shops that should probably be closed but use click-and-collect to launch Black Friday about three weeks early? Knock yourselves out.
But a fourball spread out across a 400-yard par 4? How dare you suggest it. Don’t you know people are dying?
I’m going to say what every golfer is really thinking: This lockdown is a sham.
If we’re all supposed to be in it together, and staying home as every piece of advice I’ve read seems to compel, then why does the end of my road look like the M1?
There are more people out and about now than there were before this four-week shutdown was even a twinkle in Chris Whitty’s eye.
You can’t move on the pavement for cyclists, runners and walkers. The park looks like there’s a big gig going off, not a recommended socially distanced shot of exercise.
Stay indoors. Or go outside. Go almost anywhere it seems, except a golf course. Let’s face it, much like the pubs and hotels, we’ve been screwed.
“It is difficult to take out one part of the Jenga block without disturbing the whole package,” is how, in his typical way of saying a lot of words without actually making any sense, Boris defended the decision to lump golf in with other famously non-contact sports like grassroots football.
Maybe he’d had enough of Robbie Savage moaning but putting everything together in one big ban just so you can avoid dealing with people who are complaining doesn’t really make for sound policy decisions.
Whitehall certainly seemed less concerned about the whole house of cards falling down when they allowed us back on the fairways in May.
My club looked like CSI New York and every golfer I knew was utterly scrupulous in sticking to the Covid regulations – and remained so throughout the summer – because they knew the world was watching and wouldn’t hesitate to stick the knife in if a wrong ‘un so much as touched a flagstick inappropriately.
Look, I understand in a pandemic sacrifices have to be made. I realise the sooner we get infection rates down, and set a vaccine to work on this respiratory rascal, the sooner we can start putting the globe back together.
But as I see a pal of my mine on facebook holding a big fish along with a huge grin after a day on the lake, I fail to see why this is possible in lockdown and golf is not.
Except that the government has said ‘because’.
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