April is the month when traditionally many golfers and their clubs come out of hibernation.
The clocks have changed, the weather improves and The Masters whets the appetite for a new season.
I’m no different to every other golfer in England who loves this great game of ours.
Normally I’d be looking forward to this weekend’s County Foursomes at Chippenham Golf Club.
In a fortnight, myself, county colleagues and many friends from clubs around Wiltshire would be ready for the County Championships at Tidworth Golf Club.
I’d have been cramming for these ‘exams’, playing with my friends at Marlborough Golf Club and trying to shake off the winter rust.
Instead, we have all been living through difficult times and golf courses remain closed as we all play our part by staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
However, golf WILL return. We will get to enjoy our sport again, our friendships, our rivalries and experience all the highs and lows that come as part and parcel of this wonderful game.
Since the 23 March shutdown, the sacrifices we have all made in our daily lives have helped to play a part in a huge national effort to combat COVID-19.
The way everyone in golf has rallied together in these uncertain times fills me with great optimism for the future.
Now is the time for us all to keep the faith and see this through until the end.
The way golf clubs and golfers have played their part at a time of national crisis has been exemplary. The spirit shown has reinforced just why this game is so precious to so many.
At England Golf we made the responsible call to close courses and we are unwavering in this decision. This is a stance made in the national interest and validated by government.
Throughout these challenging times, England Golf has collaborated like never before with our colleagues in golf administration and presented a united front during many conversations with government.
This collective approach has continued this week as we work with government to try and find the right conditions under which golf can return.
‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ is the message and, as mentioned in my letter last week, proposed guidelines to prepare for when golf returns will soon be sent out to all clubs and counties.
I would like to thank everyone who has dealt with the frustrations of the last five weeks by acting to save lives.
We must continue to do the right thing in the belief that when it is safe for golf to return we can look back with pride at how our community of golfers handled a situation that turned our sporting world on its head.
Please remain optimistic, keep the faith as we will Play Safe and Stay Safe on the fairways together again soon.
Chief Executive, England Golf