After four days of confusion surrounding the COVID-19 regulations surrounding the opening of golf courses, Golf Australia, has released a statement outlining its position.
“Many golf clubs around Australia have either re-opened, or are considering doing so, after recent state and territory-specific rulings or directives,” the statement from golf’s governing body said.
“Golf Australia, while not wishing to act in a manner contrary to those specific rulings or directives, remains of the view that golf is a non-essential activity, a view which sits comfortably with the current Federal Government directive and rules to ‘stay at home’ unless absolutely necessary.
“Of course, Golf Australia is merely recommending that position to all clubs around Australia and ultimately we respect the right of the clubs to act in the way they see fit while complying with all social distancing requirements.
“Golf Australia has adopted – and will continue to adopt – a prudent position of respecting and heeding Government advice on all matters pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The recommendation we formulated around course closure was based on the position Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken and, at all times throughout this issue, Golf Australia has sought to provide the latest Federal and state advice for all golf clubs around the country.
“That has proved an extremely difficult task given that various state positions have been constantly changing, almost on a daily basis. We apologise for any confusion that has caused, but we are sure you can understand these are unprecedented times in our country and, indeed, for our great game.
“That so many people are passionate about the sport is a great sign of the game's significance in our community and we are truly sympathetic to those who are desperate to once again walk the fairways, but we as the national governing body feel that in this time of crisis for so many in our community, it is best to be safe.
“Furthermore, we strongly believe that unity, prudence and safety during this unprecedented crisis is the best way for us to assist with "flattening the curve" of Covid-19's surge through the community and we believe that golf and our industry has a role to play in doing this.
“Our recommendation to remain closed therefore remains the same - Australia and our community come first.
“We yearn to see full fairways and clubhouses, but not as much as we desire our population to be fully healthy once again.
“As always, Golf Australia remains on hand to offer clubs advice and support through these troubling times, regardless of whether or not they've chosen to open or close.
“The most up-to-date information on all Australian golf matters pertaining to the Covid-19 pandemic will be prominent at https://www.golf.org.au/covid-19 on the Golf Australia website. We implore all golfers to follow the State and Territory guidelines contained within this document.
“We will endeavour to provide constant and relevant updates as soon as possible in this ever-changing landscape.
“Above all, please stay safe.”