England Golf has written an open letter to the Prime Minister, insisting that golf should be able to return in the first phase of his recovery plan.
Ahead of the Prime Minister announcing his roadmap out of lockdown on February 22, England Golf's leader claimed that the game was “exceptionally well placed to play a positive role in this first phase of recovery and should be given that opportunity by government".
Detailing why golf was beneficial for both "the body and soul", he said he saw “no reason why golf can’t be one of the first sports to return”.
A safe return for golf
With England's golf courses and driving ranges closed since January 5, he reemphasised that golf was a sport that could be played safely and with social distancing measures.
"Now we need to look ahead – to find a way to re-energise the nation through a programme of safe activity and exercise to lift the collective morale of the country" he said.
"England Golf has been clear from the start – golf is a sport played safely in the open air with social distancing part and parcel of every round.
"I’m sure you will be aware that many golfers have already contacted their own MPs to make this point and no doubt many more will reinforce this view by voicing their support for an expedient, safe return to playing golf in the days ahead."
He also pointed out that only last month, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf presented the government with findings from leading Scientists that demonstrated how golf can be played safely during any stage of a pandemic.
"For in excess of two million golfers in England, the mental and physical health benefits of playing our sport can be clearly documented. This isn’t anecdotal, this is based on solid scientific data," he continued.
"The fact that these benefits can be enjoyed without presenting any undue risk to wider public health is hugely significant. In short, golf remains a sport that’s safe and good for both body and soul."
England's health and wellbeing
He also addressed how living without golf had taken a toll on many people's mental health.
"Our golfing community has struggled without access to the game they love. For many, the mental hardships have been tougher to endure than the physical ones," he declared.
"Golf clubs have been navigating through the economic problems of lockdown, the uncertainty of a re-start date, the questions from furloughed staff about jobs, the queries from members about annual subscriptions. These have been tough times that none of us want to visit again.
"Importantly, we see no reason why golf can’t be one of the first sports to return, to help with the healing process for our country, and to ensure that the sun can once again shine on us all through the 2021 season."
You can read the full letter HERE.