Sunshine Tour

Golf in 11th hour discussions with minister to get green light to open

Serengeti Estates (Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour)
Serengeti Estates (Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour)

GolfRSA stated that they are still in going talks with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and insisted that golf courses will not be allowed to open until they receive the green light from government.

"In a video conference meeting with the Director General of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture and his team earlier today, it was confirmed that as things currently stand, golf courses will not be allowed to open under the Alert Level 3 regulations," it read.

South Africa will move from Level 4 to Level 3 on Monday, 1 June in its nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus.

According to the latest guidelines released by government, professional non-contact sport will be permitted under Level 3 with no word on South Africans playing recreational non-contact sports.

READ | SA sports federations highlight the importance of the safe return of sports

"GolfRSA, the Sunshine Tour, the PGA of South Africa and the Club Management Association of Southern Africa are firmly united in their belief that golf courses and facilities should open for all golfers," it said.

"Best Practice in other parts of the world has seen golf return for recreation and exercise in accordance with Covid-19 protocols. These bodies all support the belief that golf for all should return before any professional golf tournaments resume."

Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa is set to address South Africa on Saturday, providing clarity on what government's Level 3 lockdown regulations will mean for the country's sporting community. 

"It was reiterated in the conference call with the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture today that the survival of the golf industry is dependent on a bottom-up approach," continued GolfRSA's statement.

"Revenue generated by amateur participation is what funds the facilities that, in turn, employ thousands of people. The professional game is entirely dependent on this eco-system for its existence.

"Fellow golfers, the industry is too valuable to all of us to make rash and uncalculated decisions and unity amongst all the role players in golf is arguably now more important than it has been since the lockdown started.

"We ask all golf industry role players, members, golfers and staff to exercise patience and to give us your support as we continue to consult with the government on your behalf."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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