BRADFORD Union president Simon Tabel has highlighted some inconsistencies around golf not being allowed to go ahead in England, and is hoping for a resumption soon.

Tabel is also a Keighley member, and he has enlisted the support of local MP Robbie Moore, who has been lobbying a prominent minister for a prompt return.

Discussing the disappointment for himself and the rest of the district, Tabel said: “When we came out of the last lockdown at the start of December, I said I thought that was the last time golf would be stopped.

“But that’s proved incorrect and sadly we’re starting 2021 in the same vein as most of 2020.

“We’ve got some alliances scheduled from mid-February to mid-April, which we’ll have to see about.

“There’s some junior tournaments due to be played at Easter and union tournaments from April, so we’re still hopeful for those.

“The average age of club members in the district is over 50, so some will be vaccinated soon and will want to get back to leading some sort of normal life again.”

Tabel added: “Golf is generally played in a safe environment and we’ve basically always stuck to the same social distancing restrictions and protective measures since last May, which everyone has followed.

“Even without any competitiveness, why not allow casual golf for people either on their own, with family or with someone from one other household?

“There are some inconsistencies with the decision to stop golf, such as angling being allowed to return and the fact that golf can still be played in Scotland.

“At this time of year, golf courses aren’t in tip-top condition and the weather will have had an impact over the last few weeks,

“But it’s safe, local and a good form of exercise. It’s certainly safer than going to the supermarket, as you’re well away from others and it’s just you and maybe your partner for a few hours.

“I’ve written to Robbie Moore, who supports our return, and he’s raised this with the Secretary of State for Sport, so it’s good to have him on our side.

“There’s rumours we should be getting a decision on whether we can return around February half-term but we’ll have to see.”

Addressing the immediate effect on the Bradford Union, Tabel said: “We’ve had to cancel our big annual dinner this month at the Midland Hotel in Bradford, which will have an impact on the local economy.

“Pro shops and golf clubs not being open has an impact too, and many clubs would have had subscriptions due this month, but members may be reluctant to renew given the situation.

“It’s a particular shame for Northcliffe Golf Club, as it’s been an unfortunate start to their centenary year, which they’ve put in a huge amount of preparation for.”