Golf Australia and the PGA have today reached out to the Victorian Government advocating for the covid-safe reopening of golf courses in Victoria, the only state yet to do so.
Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland said that while the Victorian golf industry supports the public health efforts regarding the pandemic, there are ways in which golf clubs and facilities can play their part in the solution moving forward.
“It’s no secret that golf provides significant benefits to the mental and physical wellbeing of its participants, while conducted outdoors in an appropriately socially distant manner,” Sutherland said.
“During this latest lockdown it is distressing to see that more people than ever, of all ages, are reaching out to mental health services citing issues including emotional wellbeing, loss, and grief. That’s why we have offered assistance to the government to help with the roadmap out of restrictions.”
Mr Sutherland said that Victorian golf clubs and facilities had done it tougher over the past 18 months than any other state due to forced closures, and believed it was time to reward those doing the right thing with access to the game.
PGA chief executive Gavin Kirkman said that golf continues to be in a unique position to offer an environment that can aid both mental and physical wellbeing while working with the essential distancing guidelines that help manage and eradicate the further spread of Covid-19.
“The importance of exercise and outdoor activity and related effects on the health and wellbeing of Victorians is well documented,” Kirkman said.
“We wish to play our part in the solution and help in any way we can. Our offer of assistance to the government has extended to providing venues and promotion of the COVID-19 vaccination program with potential marketing reach to an extensive database of millions of Australians.”
“We recognise these decisions aren’t made in isolation but remain ready and willing to do whatever we can to help.”
Both parties congratulated the Victorian golf industry for its continued compliance while facing ever increasing challenges during the pandemic.
“From golf club and facility managers, staff and pros, to superintendents and volunteers – we applaud you for every bit of hard work you are doing to ensure that our golf spaces are ready and safe to come back to.
“We know it’s frustrating but rest assured we’re doing all we can to work with government for the benefit of all.”