The R&A has launched a £7 million funding package, The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund, to help golf deal with the impact of the pandemic. The fund will be largely aimed at national associations and other affiliated bodies in Great Britain and Ireland.
With the global pandemic leading to widespread temporary course closures and drastic reductions in domestic and international travel, many golf clubs and facilities are facing serious financial difficulties. The fund is being provided to help The R&A’s affiliated national associations to support those clubs and facilities, although some of the money may be used for other activities key to the future health of the sport.
Iain Gray MSP has welcomed the funding and expressed his hope that it will assist East Lothian’s vital golf sector:
“I welcome this funding package to help golf cope with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sport is a critical part of East Lothian’s leisure and tourism industry and it will be vital that it bounces back as quickly as possible from lockdown. I hope that this new support will filter down to local clubs and assist them with their recovery from the crisis.”
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said:
“The pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on golf and many clubs are facing dire financial situations through no fault of their own. Golf is in our DNA and we want to see the sport continue to thrive from grassroots right through to the top level on the professional tours. We have a responsibility to do what we can to help in such a crisis.
“The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will enable national associations and other key bodies to provide support to some of their members. We know that many challenges lie ahead but club golf is the bedrock of our sport and hopefully this fund will help to begin the process of recovery.”