SA's golfers have spoken: We want to swing again!

Fancourt Golf Estate (Sunshine Tour)
Fancourt Golf Estate (Sunshine Tour)

South African golfers have spoken and it's unanimous - they want their local golf courses to reopen during the nationwide lockdown.

On Thursday, Sport24 published an article regarding the United Kingdom reopening their courses with certain precautions and protocols in place.

Currently South Africa is in lockdown Level 4 to help combat the spread of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

While some parts of the country are expected to drop to Level 3 by the end of May, other 'hot spots' with higher infection rates of Covid-19 may remain at Level 4. Level 3 involves the easing of certain restrictions, including social activities.

While South Africans have accepted the 19th hole may be out of bounds for now, the response has been overwhelming with literally hundreds of emails sent pleading for the South African government to allow screams of 'FORE' to ring out once again...

Sport24 reader Anton Steyn, who works at the Cato Ridge Golf Club in KwaZulu-Natal, emailed Sport24 to say they "are at the end of our financial means. Golf clubs don't mind to adjust and adapt. The worst part are that there are so many peoples income and lives at stake if we have to close down courses and the golf industry."

Another Sport24 reader, Mark, stated in an email that he has some concerns over golf reopening.

"I have been playing this game for 36 years and of course love it. Golf will have to played on a play and go home immediately basis for some time to come but opening has some concerns. Majority of golfers in SA are over 60 years old. I'm one of them and we are deemed to be vulnerable... Opening only golf courses will draw the whining and gnashing of teeth from the surfers, fishermen, swimmers and other non contact sportsmen," he wrote in an email to Sport24.

Just a handful of the arguments made by Sport24 readers as to why golf courses should reopen as soon as possible:

"It is a no brainer for golf courses to open... It is way saver than for instance collecting or applying for a social grant via the SASSA offices for instance, or working in any air-conditioned office for that matter." - Johan Jansen van Vuuren

"Open at least driving ranges in the meantime." - Thomas, Paul

"Golf should be opened during Level 4, with restrictions, anyway there is more social  distancing in golf. Close clubhouses, no spectators, and no removal of green flags." - Mziwonke Martin

"Golf should open on Level 3, it's not a contact sport and is easy to adapt and fulfil most they the criteria requirements Under level 3." - Mikey K

"As a pensioner to be able to play golf once a week is very important in my weekly routine. It enables me to get gentle exercise over 4 hours..." - David Rigby

"It's an undisputed fact that golf is the safest than all sporting codes... It is my sincere and honest submission that golfers be allowed to return to the field of play, not forgetting that golf courses have employed a lot of people who earn a living from the employ of golf courses." - Isaac "Ndabezitha"

"Golf courses should be open and players must just be aware of the requirements to look after their own as well as their accompanying players health. Playing golf with care is far safer than going shopping." - Brian Davidson

"Would you please allow us to play golf for the following reasons: We are not professionals that have large crowds following and watching us when we play, we regularly practise social distancing in any case as invariably we are never together in the fairway or rough and the wives or husbands are actually hoping we can play golf so as to get out of their hair." - Leon Brummer

"It’s a no brainer,Obviously and I hate golf." - Sport24 reader

"As a danish citizen living in this country, I despair at the incompetencies in this country relating to corona.Denmark allowed golf to be played at all times during their lock down. As it is important for citizens to get out into fresh air. Golf was seen as an extremely low risk sport..." - Bo Nielsen

"My take on the re-opening of golf courses around the country is that it must happen sooner than later. I think that with a few restrictions in place, it can work." - Chalkie Govender

"Golf is perhaps the sport that lends itself best as social distancing is a given otherwise players get hurt and they are patently aware of this at all times. Staggered tee off times also ensure that there good social distancing..." - Sarel du Plessis

"I surely believe golf should be opened. I honestly believe that there are extremely low risk on a golf course to contract the virus... This will really be a significant stress reliever." - Roshan Scott

"Golf is the best sport for social distancing ever so please open those fairways." - Vusumzi Majaja

"It is one of the only sports that there is quite distances between players at all times... Players that come into the clubhouse temperatures must be taken... If any of these rules are not abided by then the person are  involve must be ask to leave the club immediately and will not be allowed in the club for a period of time." - Burt

"Golf courses should be allowed to opened... You can play with a mask on. You sanitize your clubs and balls on arrival... You may limit each round of golf per golfer daily to 9 holes per player." - Nashville Britz

"I feel golf courses should be open for a number of reasons... Caddies who are suffering will be able to earn money for food on the table... All clubs must have a Marshall on the course to see that the rules laid down." - Jack Turton




Images: AFP

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