Vics only state to heed golf virus advice

Victoria is the only state to follow Golf Australia's advice to close golf courses after NSW Golf backflipped on a decision so play is now permitted.

Picture: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Victoria is going it alone in closing golf courses while other states are defying Golf Australia's advice to shut down.

Golf NSW, including the ACT, on Wednesday backflipped on a decision to shut fairways and bunkers for play.

"After reconsideration, the Office of Sport - NSW Government - has advised that golf is considered an activity that can continue to be played in line with Public Health Orders relating to public gathering limits, social distancing and the elderly," Golf NSW said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Golf Australia sent a memorandum to state organisations and clubs on Monday advising they should close, although have conceded they can't force a country-wide shutdown.

"It is Golf Australia's recommendation that, based on the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday evening, March 29 that limits outdoor gatherings to two persons or fewer, all golf clubs and facilities should close until further notice."

Victoria and NSW fell into line, while other states decided to leave it up to individual clubs to make the call on whether they remain open for play with many deciding to continue for as long as is possible.

Under pressure from irate golfers who say golf is natural social distancing and falls under the category of exercise, NSW changed their view.

Courses that remain open have brought into a raft of rules including a two-player limit with strict tee-off times, no competitions, no sand buckets, flags remaining in on greens and balls removed from holes using the gloved hand.


AAP