League Statement on COVID-19
Over the past week, the Team Captains of all ten Avon League Clubs and the League Secretary have been discussing how to proceed under the current public health constraints arising from the spread of the dangerous COVID-19 virus. I want to thank all of the Team Captains for their carefully considered and sensible input to the discussions. We have also drawn on advice issued by Club Committees, Government advice on catering establishments, travelling and social distancing, the advice issued by England Golf and taken in to consideration the response of the Warwickshire Union for county matches.
It is with great regret that a decision has been reached to not proceed with the 2020 Avon League season.
This decision has not been taken lightly. You, like the team captains and myself, love playing Avon League golf. Our friendly and sociable league is a huge credit to all of us. However, under the current circumstances we do not see how we can proceed with the season in a safe manner and complete all of the matches.
We already have a number of teams who have chosen or have been instructed by their committee not to play interclub matches, meaning many games would either have been cancelled or had to be rearranged within the constraints of busy golf club diaries.
Recent Government advice on social distancing and the operation of catering facilities essentially eradicates the pre and post-match social activities, and we also have concerns around congregation of players on the putting green, practice areas, the first tee prior to tee off and around the clubhouse area after the match. The Government is also advising against all non-essential travel, a situation which may well escalate in the coming days. England Golf has recommended a number of alterations to normality on the course, including playing in twoballs, removing rakes from the course and leaving the flag in at all times.
Given all of the above, the Team Captains and I feel it is in the best interests of all concerned to postpone the 2020 League matches. Our intention is to retain the home/away distribution of matches for 2021 and, at least initially, to retain the match dates in club diaries for this season so that the matches can be played as friendlies, but only if the situation improves. At this stage we hope to proceed with the Avon Challenge at Whitefields as planned in September, with a review of the situation most likely around July.
This is without doubt the hardest decision we have had to take and, personally, I have lost sleep over this decision. The health of the players of this league, their fellow club members, families and friends must come first. I hope that you all understand the reasoning behind the decision. Stay safe over what will be a challenging few months ahead.
If any of you need anything, the Avon League community will be here to help you.