Lakhan welcomes decision

Pacific Games Council president Vidya Lakhan. Picture: INSIDE THE GAMES

Vidya Lakhan is happy about the uplifting of the restrictive measures that was placed on the sport of golf immediately after the nation recorded its first confirmed coronavirus patient on March 19.

“I welcome the clarification last weekend by the Commissioner of Police that the non-contact sport of golf can be played, provided all the mandatory government advisories are strictly adhered to,” the president of Golf Fiji said.

“This allows the Fijian golfers to join their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and many other countries to get on a golf course and enjoy a round of golf as part of their daily exercise.”

However, stringent health precautions will have to be observed by the hundreds of golf enthusiasts in the country, as stated by Lakhan.

“At the present time, the golf courses are opening up for social golf only. For the time being and until further notice, there will be no golf competitions at all. Only social golf.

“As we all know, it is an individual sport and as such, a person can play golf alone. “The sport of golf also does not allow more than four golfers in a group to play together. Furthermore, each golfer has to use his own set of golf clubs and golf balls; hence there is nil contact at all.

“Additional restrictions put in place by Golf Fiji will ensure that the golfers, when playing the sport, will conform to all the requirements to ensure the health of all Fijians is not put at risk, in correlation with the way World Golf wants the game to be played in the ‘new normal’ for the time being, by putting in place some stringent interim changes to the rules pertaining to the sport, being flags or pins not having to be removed from the hole for putting, social distancing to be enforced, no more than a player on the green or the Tee Box, no handshakes, high fives, hugging or even kissing and all the players are being encouraged to mark their own cards as the most prudent measures to combat COVID-19,” he divulged.

The veteran sports administrator offered a positive tone.

“All golf clubs around the country are now preparing to reopen and the great news is that the unfortunate workers who had been laid off, are being recalled which is another positive sign,” Lakhan said.

When probed for an answer to any major changes that could be witnessed by the local golfing fraternity, the veteran sports administrator, emphasised the need to practise social distancing.

“While the golf courses will open, I categorically state that all the golf clubhouses are to remain closed to ensure there are no more than 20 patrons in a clubhouse at any given time,” he quipped.

Lakhan also clarified that all the golf club captains around the country have been asked to ensure they strictly comply with all the laid down Government and Golf Fiji advisories, to ensure the health and well-being of all Fijians.

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