08 Jun 2021 | Clubs and Facilities |

Sutherland takes stance on 50-person cap

by Martin Blake

13th Beach general view image
Clubs like the Vic Open host course 13th Beach are dealing with a 50-person limit. Photo: Getty

Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland has called the latest government-imposed cap on numbers at regional Victorian golf courses "quite ludicrous".

The GA chief executive last week wrote to the Victorian Government to take up the case on behalf of the clubs, who have been saddled with a 50-person limit that includes patrons in the clubhouse.

The Victorian Government reinstated golf in country Victoria last week after a few days of lockdowns around the Covid-19 outbreak in the state.

But Sutherland told RSN radio today that it was illogical to apply the same cap to a golf course as a hotel.

"Quite ludicrous really, and quite absurd when you think about hundreds of acres and the nature of the sport is very much natural social-distancing," said Sutherland today. "To take it a step further you're allowed 50 people in a pub in regional Victoria right now, and we're only allowed 50 people on the golf ccourse. Furthermore, if we had 50 people in the clubhouse we wouldn't be allowed one person on the golf course. It's just ridiculous."

The government has declined to change the ruling despite Golf Australia's representations, delivered both by letter and by Sutherland in a phone call to Sports Minister Martin Pakula.

"We're obviously concerned that if things do open up in Melbourne, later on this week which we hope they do, that these same silly restrictions that are applicable in regional Victoria don't continue to apply across the state and in Melbourne as well."

Hear the full RSN interview here

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