Golf has been put on the back-burner since the start of January, after the introduction of a third national lockdown. The UK Government will now debate whether to open golf courses early, after a petition sparked upwards of 132,000 signatures.
All golf clubs and courses were told to close on January 4, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a third lockdown.
It came after a sharp rise in new Covid infections, as well as the introduction of the UK coronavirus variant in the previous month.
Amateur golf’s governing body, England Golf, said it was “extremely disappointed” by the announcement, because it made a “strong case” to keep golf open to the public.
The decision to close golf courses caused a backlash from amateur golfers, who started a petition to open the clubs early.
As the online petition surpassed 100,000 signatories, MPs will debate whether to open golf courses early.
The debate will take place in the House of Commons on Monday March 22, it’s been confirmed.
But responding to the petition back in January, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “No government would want to be in a position of needing to close sports facilities including golf courses. Golf has great reach across society as people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part in the game; it brings people together to experience the outdoors and enjoy nature.
“Golf courses were one of the first sports facilities to be reopened following the initial lockdown and they were also able to stay open in the local tiered restrictions, including tier 4.
“However, the current spread of the virus risks the healthcare system becoming overwhelmed. This is something we cannot allow to happen and is why the current national lockdown was introduced.”