It’s no go even for ‘safe’ golf meets

PETALING JAYA: Golf seemed to be one of the safest sports to be played during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, it was also among the first few recreational activities to be allowed to resume nationwide.

Yet, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) have had their request to hold competitions turned down by the National Security Council (NSC).

The MGA said the news of the rejection was conveyed to them after a meeting with National Sports Council director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail last Friday.

“MGA president Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor and honorary secretary Datuk Zulkifli Ismail had a meeting with the security council to obtain clearance for golf clubs to have competitions and allow twin-sharing buggies, ” MGA said in a statement.

“However, approval was not given.

“In the meantime, we hope that everyone will continue to adhere to the current SOP.”

The MGA, who managed to host the Malaysian Open just a week before the movement control order commenced on March 18, still have a host of tournaments lined up in their calendar, comprising mostly state amateur Opens.

There are also some major ones like the 118th Malaysian Amateur Open, one of the oldest golf tournaments in the region, South-East Asian Team Championships, Saujana Amateur Open and the Tan Sri Muhyiddin Challenge.

The Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (Malga) are still keen to stage the 37th edition of the Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open (MLAO), although the initial dates of Aug 10-13 are impossible now.

“We’re planning to bring back the MLAO, hopefully in December, if circumstances allow us to, ” said Malga executive director Datuk Rabeahtul A. Abbas.

“We can still make it happen, providing all the neighbouring countries open up their borders and no quarantine rule is imposed upon arrival.”

While the staging of international tournaments isn’t viable for now, Rabeahtul feels the government could have given leeway to domestic tournaments.

“Golf is an individual game and the SOP can be easily complied with for the golf tournaments, ” she stressed.

“Our US-based (national team) players are mostly back in the country. It would be good for us to organise tournaments to allow the local juniors to compete alongside the elite players.

“It doesn’t have to be big. Even a mini-tourney with about 30 to 40 players would do.”

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