‘Keep golf courses open’, says Suffolk club director

Golf courses off the chance for exercise and social distancing. Photo: PA

Golf courses off the chance for exercise and social distancing. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

One Suffolk golf club director has said golf courses should remain open from Thursday and not go into lockdown.

Fynn Valley director, Jenny Holmes

Fynn Valley director, Jenny Holmes - Credit: Archant

Jenny Holmes, director of Fynn Valley Golf Club, just outside Ipswich, was speaking following the announcement on Saturday night from Boris Johnson that leisure pursuits, including golf courses and driving ranges, will close later this week for a month.

A petition to allow golf to continue has been signed by more than 100,000 people already and Mrs Holmes says it could be disastrous for some people if golf were taken away from them once more.

“I can’t see why would you want to shut down golf courses?” she said.

“Club houses, yes of course. But I can’t think of a better way for two people to social distance and get exercise, than play golf.

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“Some of our senior players rely on a game, not just to play, but to socially interact. They will now spend the next month just sitting at home again. For some people’s mental health, golf has been a saviour.

“We will lose money because our club house will be closed, but I think the mental health picture for people is far bigger.”

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A host of industry bodies, including England Golf, BIGGA and the PGA, along with the All-Parliamentary Group for Golf, responded by saying they were seeking further clarification of the Government’s decision, while England Golf went one further and said they had received no consultation from the Government regarding the decision.

Professionals, like Lee Westwood, have endorsed the campaign to keep courses open.

“Playing golf has huge health benefits,” Mrs Holmes added.

“I can easily set up my tee-time sheet to just include two-balls only. I’d rather have a full sheet of people playing two-balls, than a full sheet of nothing.. As I said, if the Government are happy for people to socially distance and still get exercise, that nails it for me - golf is perfect.”

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