20 Sep 2021 | Clubs and Facilities |

Sutherland welcomes Melbourne golf return

by Martin Blake

Kingston Heath GC image
Gems like the sandbelt classic Kingston Heath should be open again in a few days. Photo: Visit Victoria

Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland has welcomed the return of golf in Melbourne after six weeks. Melbourne has had golf course closures on and off over the past 18 months including since August 5, but the Victorian Government has green-lighted a return to play once the state reaches 80 percent of Covid vaccinations.

Victoria is at 72 percent first-dose vaccination rates and the 80 percent mark is flagged for 26 September, meaning golf courses could reopen as early as Sunday.

Play will be in groups of two but groups of four are allowed under the government's guidelines provided the players are vaccinated and are not from more than two different households. There will also be a 15-kilometre travel limit, and masks must be worn. Golf has been allowed to continue throughout most of Australia during pandemic lockdowns, although the ACT had a brief golf ban recently before returning. The GA head said he was adamant that golf was safe, even in a pandemic. "That's the case we've been arguing for a long time," said Sutherland. "I can't think of a more socially-distanced sport than golf. I don't know what people think happens on a golf course, but I know you don't get close to anyone on a golf course. It's not really possible."

Hear the full interview here.

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