Gympie golfers have final swing as shutdown spreads

GOLF has become the latest Gympie sport to be put on hold as Queensland goes into lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gympie Vets had their last round of play on Tuesday before the Gympie Golf Course was closed.

Gympie Golf Course owner Phil Goodman made the tough decision to close the course following the rules outlined by the Federal and Queensland Government. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie Golf Course owner Phil Goodman made the tough decision to close the course following the rules outlined by the Federal and Queensland Government. Picture: Shane Zahner

“Monday we had advice we had to close the licensed venue and we went through the process of removing the sales of alcohol and we continue to follow up with Golf Australia and Golf Queensland about the ability to maintain players on the course,” Gympie Golf Course owner Phil Goodman said.

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“Unfortunately the advice late Monday night was that Queensland is the only state in Australia where golf is no longer able to be played. The advice is that if you are a licensed venue and have a licensed club and course then the course must close as part of the closure of licensed venues.

“I allowed the Gympie Vets to continue today as long as they practised social isolation but following the advice I have made the decision to close the course.”

Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis has his final swing on the course. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis has his final swing on the course. Picture: Shane Zahner

Goodman said once Golf Australia and Golf Queensland allowed the Gympie course to open, it would be.

“Golf Australia and Golf Queensland are lobbying the Government to allow people to still play because there is a need to allow people to be outside. Golf is one of the few sports that has social distancing anyway, so it is unfortunate for the social members and players that it is closed,” he said.

Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis is devastated that golf is not able to continue in Gympie. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis is devastated that golf is not able to continue in Gympie. Picture: Shane Zahner

Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis said it was surreal playing his last game on the course today.

“It is pretty sad, I thought golf would have been a game that we could have kept on playing being that it is outdoors and we can keep our distance but unfortunately it is not the case,” he said.

“The course right now is in the best condition it has been in for a long time. We have gone through the drought and rain, and it is just perfect but we cannot play.

Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis is lucky to have a par 3 course at home which he can use to have a hit but other players are not so lucky. Picture: Shane Zahner
Gympie Vets member Greg Lewis is lucky to have a par 3 course at home which he can use to have a hit but other players are not so lucky. Picture: Shane Zahner

“It does feel a bit sombre because for some of the players that is all they do. Some of the vets play six times a week. A lot of us are going to be really stuck for something to do.

“We have a set of rules, we are not touching the flag and are using our own pins, so it is just unfortunate. I have a par 3 course at home where I can still hit a few balls but some of the guys live in the units here overlooking the golf course and they can’t hit a ball.”

Gympie Times


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