Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. @SATop100Courses tweeted on Sunday that the course would open on 1 June. Picture: @SATop100Courses on Twitter
Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. @SATop100Courses tweeted on Sunday that the course would open on 1 June. Picture: @SATop100Courses on Twitter

GolfRSA wants clubs to remain patient after Cotswold Downs tweet

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - The official administrator of amateur golf in South Africa, GolfRSA, has called on clubs “to remain calm and level-headed” following news at the weekend that golf courses were to remain closed at level 3 of the national lockdown.

Thousands of jobs in the South African golf industry are at stake, while several golf courses are on the brink of bankruptcy following the halting of all sport in the country several weeks ago, amid the spread of the coronavirus. 

One course that appears to have decided to do its own thing, and ignore the level 3 restrictions which came into play on Monday, is Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. They tweeted on Sunday they will be “OPEN” for golf on June 1, for residents only, and with strict protocols in place.

This message was allegedly sent out by the course’s general manager Bryan Coleman after a board of directors meeting.

“Selfish - putting the whole industry in jeopardy and going against the hard work of GolfRSA and PGASA have done,” said one person on social media in response to the news.

Another replied, “Why is it selfish? They are standing up to an unjust and unreasonable rule. If the government is not happy, let them fight it in court.” 

Grant Hepburn, the chief executive of Golf RSA said in a statement late Sunday their body had continued discussions on Sunday “at the highest level of government regarding the reopening of golf at Alert level 3”. 

“We had a very positive meeting this morning (Sunday) with a key representative of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

“Please rest assured that the overriding priority of all South African golf bodies right now is to guarantee the survival of golf clubs and facilities and to save jobs. We are firm in our belief that we are taking the most appropriate approach to ensure that golf can make its safe return in due course.”

Hepburn said GolfRSA would continue to pursue “this avenue of dialogue and we are at a sensitive stage in these discussions. Therefore we urge all parties to remain patient at this juncture”.

He advised all golf courses that thought about opening for play on Monday to reconsider their decision.

“GolfRSA and South African golf bodies distance themselves from individuals or clubs, or petitions, who regard the legal route as an option at this point in time and we strongly encourage any golf club or golfing facility entertaining thoughts of re-opening on Monday, June 1 to seek legal advice relating to the Alert Level 3 regulations.

“We ask that you trust us and that collectively we remain calm and level-headed to see this process through to its conclusion.”


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