England Golf chief warns of restrictions when play resumes

The chief executive of England Golf has warned that clubs and players will face restrictions when the sport resumes.

In an open letter issued on England Golf’s website, Jeremy Tomlinson said clubs would need to adhere to their Play safe, Stay safe message.

He added that social distancing messages would need to be implemented, along with a change to the usual playing etiquette.

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Chief executive of England Golf Jerry Tomlinson

“Of course, there remains a great appetite to discover the date when it may be safe for golf to return,” he said.

“England Golf will continue to work in support of government and with them to move towards that day.

“It is realistic for golf clubs to expect restrictions on opening of facilities, requirements for social distancing and adaptations to the usual playing etiquette even after any easing of lockdown.

“When golf does return, this great game of ours must be ready to do so in an organised and responsible manner.

“The enthusiasm for golf’s return after an enforced hiatus is to be embraced.

“However, it is important that everyone who loves the game is guided by the simple message – Play Safe, Stay Safe.”

Non-furloughed staff at England Golf are currently working on implementing a support network to help clubs through the transition and are expected to release new guidelines in the coming weeks.

The new regulations will look at golfer communications, staff and volunteers, ongoing business support, facility and course management and the playing of the game.

“While we cannot yet circle a date in the diary, it is right to put in place a proper framework to allow golfers to tee it up at the appropriate time and with the necessary infrastructure already in place,” said Mr Tomlinson.

“Restarting the game on this basis will be a challenge. There is a key responsibility to balance the issue of public health while at the same time ensuring the vitality of our sport.

“Golf will play a prominent role in the nation’s sporting recovery – when the time is right.

“By working together, we can make sure this happens with our affiliated clubs and counties at the heart of the matter.”