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Golf must ‘re-invent’ itself to come out of this crisis, says England Golf chief

1.56pm 11th June 2020 - Interviews

England Golf chief executive Jeremy Tomlinson has said that ‘not everything in the garden is rosy’, as he reflected on a month since clubs in the England were able to reopen following the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown.

In his regular letter to golfers and clubs, Tomlinson said that although the huge growth in demand for tee times and memberships from current and new golfers had been one of the more positive aspects of the crisis, there was still much work to be done before golf was out of the woods.

“It’s been heartening to see a value once again being placed on membership and the visitor golfer experience since we all pulled together to re-open courses and facilities on 13 May,” he wrote. “However, we must also take a breath, as not everything in the garden is rosy. Clubhouses remain closed, cash is tight, and I’m not naïve to the prospect that the toughest times might yet lie ahead for many of our clubs. 

“Re-forecasting, re-evaluating, re-planning and, in some cases, re-inventing are all potentially the order of the day as we look to maximise opportunities and stabilise finances while coming out of this crisis.”

Tomlinson also used the newsletter to highlight the imminent return of competitive elite amateur golf, with Woodhall Spa’s hosting of the English men’s and women’s amateur championships on July 28 being the first target. 

He wrote: “Just as golf clubs eagerly anticipate the day when clubhouses can safely reopen, we too need a change in lockdown regulations to allow hotels to function and our events to tee off. Here at England Golf, Championship director James Crampton and his team are working towards our own events starting back on July 28. 

“We wanted to offer light at the end of the tunnel by keeping a revised schedule in place and that shaft of sunshine is getting brighter by the day. If the government’s roadmap out of lockdown remains on track, we will hopefully receive good news on that front soon. Slowly, safely and surely golf is beginning to find its feet.”

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