Fore! Minister out-of-bounds on golf closures
Health minister Kim Wilson signed a closure notice on March 28, listing entities that are now mandated to close their operations because of Covid-19.
On the list were obvious group-gathering entities and businesses where proximity enhances transmission risk for the virus, such as bars, dine-in restaurants, churches, cinemas, gyms, beauty salons, spas, barbershops, etc. But most surprisingly she added golf courses to the list.
Perhaps by way of your newspaper, one of your reporters can seek clarification from the minister as to what the risk is for anyone playing golf on a golf course, provided that they are observing the required six-foot separation rule, ie, social- distancing.
While I cannot speak for other players at other golf clubs, I can advise that the Mid Ocean Club, where I am a member, removed all touchable items from the golf course, such as bunker rakes, water dispensers, golf ball washers, etc, about three weeks ago.
Golfers are not allowed to use golf carts — not even as a single person — so all golfers must walk, and members are required to observe the social-distancing rules as established.
I would imagine that golfers at other courses around the island are most upset at the minister’s closure notice and are likely scratching their collective heads wondering why she would take away our one avenue for a walk and exercise chasing that ball around the course, not to mention the sheer joy and happiness when sinking that curling, 35-foot putt.
OK, I don’t do that often, but I trust you get the point!
It appears to me that the minister has been poorly advised on this issue and perhaps she meant to close the golf club facilities, such as restaurants, bars, locker rooms, etc … but surely not the actual golf course.
If one thinks this through to its logical conclusion, the minister should now close all public beaches, parks, railway trails and even forbid people from walking on the public roads, for all these places are similar to a golf course — ie, a place where people walk and recreate.
Provided they observe social- distancing, then allow use of these areas — don’t lock them down.
The minister needs to clarify the golf course closure mandate and why she has decided to “bunker” Bermuda’s golfers.
ALLAN D. MARSHALL
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