Golf Aust standing by no-play virus advice

Golf Australia has admitted confusion over the closure of courses due to the coronavirus but stands by its position that they should be closed for play.

Picture: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Golf Australia is standing by its recommendation that courses should be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite confusion and anger around the country over the position.

The national body on Thursday reiterated its statement from earlier this week advising clubs to shut down their courses, saying they are following federal government guidelines.

However only Victoria followed that edict, with courses in all other states and territories remaining open for play, stating that they are following their own government advice.

Adding to the confusion, PGA of Australia's chief executive Gavin Kirkman also circulated a memo to its members this week saying golf can continue under the right social-distancing practices.

Golf Australia on Thursday said it was still of the view that golf was a "non-essential activity".

"Golf Australia remains of the view that golf is a non-essential activity, a view which sits comfortably with the current Federal Government directive and rules to "stay at home" unless absolutely necessary," GA said in a statement.

"Of course, Golf Australia is merely recommending that position to all clubs around Australia and ultimately we respect the right of the clubs to act in the way they see fit while complying with all social distancing requirements.

"Golf Australia has adopted - and will continue to adopt - a prudent position of respecting and heeding Government advice on all matters pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic."

GA apologised for the confusion and said the "constantly changing" position of states surrounding coronavirus had contributed.

"We apologise for any confusion that has caused, but we are sure you can understand these are unprecedented times in our country and, indeed, for our great game.

"That so many people are passionate about the sport is a great sign of the game's significance in our community and we are truly sympathetic to those who are desperate to once again walk the fairways.

"But we as the national governing body feel that in this time of crisis for so many in our community, it is best to be safe."


AAP