It was inevitable news after Victoria announced the closure of all golf courses and facilities on March 27th that golf country-wide may be forced to close all courses at any time. However with exercise one of only four reasons Australians were told they could leave their homes, golf courses stayed open in the hope that their form of activity and the ability for golfers to adhere to social distancing rules may mean the game can go on.
However as the crisis deepened and the government laid down tougher restrictions to curb the COVID-19’s spread, they made the following announcement On Monday afternoon, March 30th.
ANNOUNCEMENT by Golf Australia
Golf Australia has advised all Australian golf clubs and facilities to close until further notice.
Golf Australia chairman Andrew Newbold said the recommendation was based on the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday evening (29 March) that limits outdoor gatherings to two persons or fewer.
The Prime Minister said all Australians should stay at home except for:
• Shopping for essentials
• Medical purposes
• Work and education, if you cannot work or learn remotely
Some Premiers and Chief Ministers have already supported this view and reinforced to their residents that this advice should be followed. It is expected that states/territories will all take this position in coming days.
Newbold said government messaging had been clear on what constituted exercise and while golf is used as exercise for many, it was clear golf did not fall within those parameters in the past 24 hours.
“Golf Australia acknowledges that some state and territory governments will provide additional information and we will keep you up to date as and when additional state and territory-based announcements are made so you are clear on the legalities of golf courses and their operations moving forward,” Newbold said.
“While this is a difficult time for the golf industry and wider society, Golf Australia is committed to working with clubs and facilities across the states and territories to ensure that we return a vibrant, strong industry.”
Golf Australia has also, in conjunction with the Australian Sports Turf Management Association, Golf NSW and Golf WA begun to lobby both Federal and state governments to ensure that – in the event of a further increase in restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – course staff will be able to continue to access clubs and facilities.
“We will keep you all up to date as to the status of these discussions, although it should be noted that as of now there are no further restrictions on current greenkeeping operations,” Newbold said.
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