These are sad times in the world of golf.
The United Kingdom is asking for all its golf courses to be shut down and most have fallen in line.
Here was the request/statement from England Golf:
It is England Golf’s position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice.
The government has identified an urgent need to introduce new restrictions on public life and on non-essential businesses opening their doors.
This has been done to limit the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the growing pressure on our National Health Service.
Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency.
The health and well-being of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history.
These are incredibly testing times for the country. The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life.
Scottish Golf fell in line with this:
Scottish Golf asks that all golfers in Scotland refrain from golfing until further notice.
We understand that this advice will have a significant impact on golf clubs across the country and we will continue to consult with industry partners to provide clubs with all information and support possible during this time of deep uncertainty.
We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so.
Both organizations said they would provide further updates when warranted.
On Tuesday, the biggest of the big — The St. Andrews Trust — closed all seven of its courses.
This was their announcement on the official website of the Trust:
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 all aspects of the Links operation, including all seven courses, are closed with immediate effect (Tuesday 24 March).
The St. Andrews site said it will make further announcements as warranted.
And just like that, golf’s most iconic course — The Old Course — has once again become a dog park.