Page last updated 19th February 2021
Update following the First Minister’s Statement (19th February)
We are disappointed that the First Minister today was unable to relax the current ‘Stay at home’ regulations, which will now remain for a minimum of a further three weeks. We hope that golf and other outdoor sports will be able to return in some capacity following the next review on the 12th of March.
The First Minister made it clear that for the time being all exercise must still start and finish at home. The latest Welsh Government Statement and updated regulations can be found here.
At a meeting with Welsh Government officials earlier this week, we presented the APPGG COVID-19 Secure Golf Document which supports our long-held view that golf has been and can continue to be played safely during the current pandemic. Other key areas of discussion centred around the numerous mental health and wellbeing benefits golf provides to tens of thousands of participants across Wales.
Welsh Government agreed that golf is a sport that can be played in a safe, socially distanced manner. Their main concerns were with the potential Wales-wide impact of relaxing the ‘stay at home’ restrictions, and the cumulative impact of doing this.
This week has seen the launch of a new social media campaign encouraging all golfers to share their story with the #ShareYourStory. This aims to highlight how their current lockdown experiences and the effect of not having access to a golf facility is impacting their mental and physical wellbeing.
A note for our CEO – Richard Dixon
I would like to thank all our Welsh Clubs for the excellent work you have been doing in helping to keep our sport, golfers and communities safe. By continuing this effort, we will put golf in a strong position to return as soon as it is safe to do so.
We are disappointed that Golf clubs face closure during tier 4 restrictions (equivalent to a lockdown/ firebreak). However, we will continue to work hard behind the scenes and have today issued the following statement clarifying Wales Golf’s position:-
Wales Golf feels there is a strong case for golf courses to remain open alongside public parks and playgrounds under Tier 4 restrictions and continues to work with the Welsh Government to make this point.
We totally understand the wider concerns, but golf is a sport that can be played safely outdoors while providing exercise. The whole golf industry has adapted to the restrictions imposed to ensure people’s safety, developed significant operational experience and established COVID secure practices, including rule changes and other mitigation measures that meet the Hands, Face, Space directive.
The health and wellbeing benefits of playing golf are well documented in scientific studies. Leaders in public health, public policy and sport from across the globe recognise that golf tackles physical inactivity and contributes to the prevention of a range of non-communicable diseases. Combining the undeniable benefits golf offers to a significant proportion of the country, and the steps taken that ensure golf is a sport that can be played safely, it is ideally placed to be able to be played safely under lockdown restrictions.
Our colleagues in the golf industry around the UK are also united in pushing these messages. We want to assure golfers in Wales we are representing them at the highest levels.