By Andrew Atkinson

Former world snooker champion Dennis Taylor has questioned the UK Government protocol golf measures for the new strain of coronavirus.

“Why can a family walk around a golf course for exercise – but two people from the same household can’t play a game of golf for exercise?,” said Taylor, who won the world title in 1985.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a number of additional stringent measures across England on January 4.

Golf courses shut from January 5 in England under new stricter lockdown rules in a bid to reduce the coronavirus figures.

Recreational golf in England had been allowed in a maximum two-ball group, but fell in line with Wales where golf has been banned since mid-December.

Golf courses remain open in Scotland, however, with play limited to groups of two.

Dennis Taylor and Sir Alex Ferguson: Golf buddies. Photo: Twitter.
Dennis Taylor and Sir Alex Ferguson: Golf buddies. Photo: Twitter.

PM Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England enabling people to leave their homes for limited reasons; measures expected to stay in force until mid-February.

PM Johnson said the new coronavirus variant, 50%-70% more transmissible, was spreading in a frustrating and alarming manner.

Grassroots sport will no longer be allowed in England, with team sports, tennis and outdoor gyms all banned.

“It is with great regret, but please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible,” said a spokesperson from England Golf.

Elite sport, including professional football will continue, the government confirmed.

Ardent golfer Taylor, 71, whose son Damien is a professional golf coach, said: “When does common sense prevail? Keep safe all and mentally strong.”

Willie Thorne, formerly of Villamartin, who died in Torrevieja hospital in 2020, aged 66, was Taylor’s golf partner, and snooker TV commentary colleague, for over four decades.

“We travelled thousands of miles together playing in charity golf events back in the eighties and nineties.

“Willie did so much work for charity with various dinners and golf days, fond memories,” said Taylor.