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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Llanymyech Golf Club faces second Covid-19 dilemma in 9 months

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For a second time this Covid-19 year, the Llanymyech Golf Club faces a dilemma.

The club hit the golfing headlines earlier this year after all courses in the UK and Ireland were closed due to growing concerns of the worldwide pandemic, with clubs in England re-opening in May on a different date to those in Wales.

Llanymyech is unique in the world of golf as it proudly boasts on its website – ‘Drive in Wales. Putt in England’ – and it means courtesy of Offa’s Dyke running through their course, you can play golf in two countries – Wales and England.

On the 4th hole you tee off in Wales and putt out in England. The 5th and 6th hole remain in England before you are cordially welcomed back into Wales on the 7th tee.

So, that’s 15 holes in the Wales county of Powys and three in England county of Shropshire.

Llanymynech Golf Club is where a then 9-year old Ian Woosnam first played golf.

The latest dilemma is much the same as the first this year and stems from the Welsh Government’s 17-day ‘firebreak’ lockdown starting at 7pm on Friday, 23rd October and lasting to Monday, 7th November.

The new coronavirus lockdown will take Wales back to the restrictions introduced in March, with most businesses shutting, and people being told to stay at home and work from home where possible.

But there’s been no such lockdown announced, at least as of yet, for England.

Officials at the club are now having to hold talks to understand whether to remain open or closed to the public.

You may think that the key to the discussion is the location of the clubhouse in Wales, licensed by Powys County Council.

But alas it is not.

“We are a member of the England Golf Union and therefore abide by its rules,” said Sandy Johnstone, who is on the club’s committee.

He added: “It may be that we shall have to close the clubhouse but keep the course open.

“That is what we did when it was decided that golf courses could reopen. We are holding meetings this week to talk through the situation and the best way to deal with it.”

What is definite, however, is that everyone in Wales has been told to stay at home under the new national lockdown rules.

“Golf and tennis clubs will be required to close during the period of the lockdown,” said the Welsh Government.

As yet, no such decision has been made for Ireland. The GUI and ILGU are expected to release a joint-statement today.


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