Open access statement

Further to a Sunday Times article detailing a petition for golf courses to be opened to the public as a communal space for permitted forms of exercise, I can confirm that I have communicated with the DCMS since the petition originated last week and have spoken directly to them again this morning on the subject.

During our conversations, I have consistently made it clear that England Golf does not support the idea of a blanket decision to grant public access to golf courses.

Each and every one of our 1,850 golf clubs and facilities in England, whether member-owned or proprietary, has a strong connection with their local communities.

That remains the case in these extraordinary times. However, it is our view that each club has to address their own, often complex, land access and management issues as well as managing resources.

It is rightly a matter for each individual golf club to consider issues of access and weigh up all relevant points. Each will come to its own view based on their own circumstances.

As such, and supporting golf clubs in their decision-making, we believe it would not be right or appropriate for England Golf to dictate policy on this subject.

For your information, the petition, which was started over a week ago, has attracted a little over 6,000 signatories. Petitions require 100,000 signatories before being considered for a debate in parliament.

Yours faithfully,

Jeremy Tomlinson

Chief Executive Officer