I read a number of people on Twitter commenting on how ridiculous it is that the Lockdown has closed golf courses across the UK. However, zooming out of the golf world, a one which I love, it’s clear this is the right decision.
Something I am vocal about is the disconnect that golf has with the majority of working people. It’s no secret that Golf is riding a crest of a wave of new participation. Due to COVID 19 guidelines and laws in the UK, the ability to go outside and experience the beauty of a carved golf course while the pubs and coffee shops remained closed is something Golf certainly benefited from. Fantastic. It’s only gutting to know that our pro-shops, courses and golf businesses haven’t been able to maximise income potential, on the back of this new participation.
However, Golf along with Garden Centres have appeared on and off to be a barometer that the public use to determine how stringent the government COVID regulations are at the given time. I didn’t like that this was something the media often used, what concerns me is the divide that this creates.
Particularly in a Tory government which is perceived as a government of superiority from many areas of the country. What I don’t want is people comparing Golf courses and Golf activity alongside the scenes we saw at Cheltenham Race Festival earlier in 2020. That creation, that certain sports, within certain aspects of perceived “upper class” society are exempt from the rules.
The result for the Golf industry would be a perception that stops new people feeling that they have access to this marvelous game. People believing that Golfers are above the rules and can do what “they like”. Don’t get me wrong, I personally would be happy to play in a two ball. Comfortable that I am keeping myself and my playing partner safe from infection. However, there is a bigger picture.
What we need to do is accept the closure, like a 1 down defeat on the 18th. By creating the conversation of opening the golf courses this would have a negative effect on Golf in the UK. I don’t want to see another petition, a tweet from an Eddie Pepperell or a hashtag floating around gaining momentum.
We know when this ends, it ends with a vaccine that protects us and brings us together. By pushing Golf into the light for reasons of self-interest, we only push our game away from the people that we need most to connect with.
Founder: Waggle Duff