Golf courses will be allowed to make their own decision on whether to close their facilities on the day of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
The ceremony will take place from 11am on Monday, September 19, at Westminster Abbey and the day has formerly been declared a Bank Holiday.
However, as per Government guidance, there will be no formal obligation for the United Kingdom’s golf clubs and facilities to close or cancel fixtures or events.
In a statement on Tuesday, England Golf said: “We invite clubs and counties to mark Monday’s solemn occasion in a respectful and appropriate manner. It is for each club and county to use their discretion and choose how to do this.”
Woodhall Spa Golf Club in Lincolnshire (above), home to England’s National Golf Centre, will close all offices, both courses, and all facilities for the full day before reopening on Tuesday, September 20.
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The Queen’s coffin will be moved to London today (September 13) and will lie in state at Westminster Hall from 5pm on Wednesday until the day of her state funeral. Thousands of people queued overnight in Edinburgh on Monday for the opportunity to file past the Queen’s coffin as it lay at rest in St Giles’ Cathedral.
“At this time our thoughts remain with King Charles III and the Royal Family during a period of national mourning,” England Golf’s statement continued.”
“Ahead of Monday’s funeral, our Captains’ event at Fulford Golf Club on Thursday, the English Women’s County Finals at Stoneham Golf Club from Friday through until Sunday and the English Champion Club at Lilley Brook Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday will all go ahead as planned.
“Similar to our championship events held at Woodhall Spa over the weekend, each occasion will be marked with a minute’s silence prior to the presentation ceremonies and flags will fly at half-mast in honour of our late patron.”
Scottish Golf have also confirmed that it will be down to individual clubs to decide on their status.
“There is no directive from Scottish Golf regarding the closure of courses on the date of The Queen’s funeral,” they told TG.
“As our affiliated golf clubs are autonomous bodies it is at each club’s discretion as to whether they will be open for play. We are aware that some clubs have already communicated their intention to close next Monday the 19th.
“With regards to the Scottish Mixed Championship at Gullane this coming Friday 16th, this event will go ahead as planned, with a minutes silence to be observed in The Queen’s memory.”
Wales Golf, which will close for business on Monday, said they will also be following Welsh Government procedure.
“It was a great honour for The Welsh Golfing Union, now Golf Union of Wales, to have been granted Royal Patronage in 1935,” they wrote in a statement. “We continue to hold His Majesty The King and all The Royal Family in our thoughts at this time of mourning.
“Following the Welsh Government Procedure, Wales Golf have advised clubs that is no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sporting fixtures, or close entertainment venues during the National Mourning period. This is at the discretion of individual organisations.”
However, while clubs can remain open, they have been advised to attempt to keep any fixtures or coaching to the hours outside of the funeral itself (11am-1.30pm), but this is at each club’s discretion.
All of the UK’s leading golf unions have also agreed that they will only publish factual information, such as the outcome of events taking place throughout the entire period of public mourning, on social media, with no promotional or commercially linked activity.
The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth was suspended following news of the Queen’s passing on Thursday evening. Friday’s play was cancelled with the event resuming on Saturday. Players and spectators wore black ribbons and observed a two-minute silence around the course, flags flew at half-mast and planned entertainment was cancelled as a mark of respect.
A host of courses have already announced their plans to close on the day of the funeral with many more expected to follow suit.
Today’s Golfer has contacted Golf also Wales Golf and Golf Ireland for confirmation of their policies for Monday.
If you have rounds of golf, fixtures, or golf breaks booked for September 19 then contact the relevant club to find out if they will remain open.
Further guidance for sporting events during the official period of mourning can be found on the official Government website.