Golf lives on in face of coronavirus
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With sport across the country succumbing to restrictions and measures put in place by all levels of government to try and limit the spread of coronavirus, golf is one of the only sports still being played.
All golf clubs across the Clarence Valley are open for social games of golf, and have put in place strict regulations surrounding social distancing and hygiene, such as a limit to only one person in a golf cart at a time, and bans on touching flagsticks or raking the bunkers.
Grafton District Golf Club manager Peter Mitchell said golf was one of the safest sports to play, as well as a great form of exercise.
“We are certainly encouraging people to come to the club to enjoy a game of golf responsibly,” he said.
“We have seen numbers dropping in the past week but golf is still the safest and most socially acceptable form of recreation right now.
“It’s almost as per normal, there are restrictions such as the requirement to stay the minimum 1.5m away from one another and we are still able to sell takeaway refreshments.
“We would love to see more people out here enjoying a game within the boundaries of the hygiene and social distancing measures that are in place.”
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in Scotland has announced new rules have been put in place across all clubs in Australia, which include changes in the way games are scored, requirements around the flagstick and the placement of the hole and bans on raking sand bunkers.
Golf Australia acting chief executive Rob Armour says the mental health benefits of the sport are an inspiration to keep courses open and GA is publishing daily updates for clubs on its website.
“Golf is a fantastic way for Australians to get out and exercise and keep their minds active during a tough time for this country and the game can be played within the regulations the government has implemented to curb the virus.” he said.
“Our priority right now is to provide clarity on the government announcements for clubs to help them operate within those parameters and advise clubs on additional precautions they can take.”
Golf clubhouses have been shut and social distancing rules mean golfers must remain 1.5 metres apart.
“A single instance where social distancing and other regulations are ignored could result in the entire state being banned from playing a game that maintains our health, both physical and mental, when we need it most,” a statement from Golf NSW says.