Welsh Government allows golfers at border club to 'enter or leave Wales' to play full course

Members of Llanymynech Golf Club need to cross the border to access all of the course's holes. Credit: ITV News

A golf club with holes in both Wales and England has been told its members can cross the border to play the full course.

The clubhouse and 15 of its 18 holes are entirely in Wales, but its entrance is in England, along with the 5th, 6th and the green of the 4th hole.

Llanymynech Golf Club had initially been informed by Powys County Council that golfers living in England ran the risk of being fined for breaching Covid travel rules.

There is currently an interim ban on non-essential travel across the border to replace the 'stay local' rule for residents in Wales.

But the Welsh Government has now said it would be reasonable for members of the club "to enter or leave Wales" whether they live in England or Wales.

Three out of 18 of the club's holes are in England. Credit: ITV News

More than 100 of the club's 450 members had been expected to tee off to mark the easing of lockdown measures in England on Monday, but the course instead hosted a handful of members resident in Wales.

Club chairman Stuart Jones said: "We have been told that English members are not allowed to play... and they said Welsh residents could play. It's just a nonsense really.

"The entrance is in England and without the English residents we wouldn't have a golf course because it's two-thirds of our membership.

"The course is dead. We would probably have about 150 people playing today, on a normal Monday. I saw two people on the course and that was it.

"It's sad. It was nice and sunny and the bookings were full to play. We have waited three months and people were desperate for a game. It's just nuts."

The situation mirrors confusion last summer when local pubs yards apart faced differing regulations on reopening.

The club has around 450 members. Credit: ITV News

Before the Welsh Government clarified rules around access to the course, a spokesperson for Powys County Council said: "We understand the frustrations that Llanymynech Golf Club are currently experiencing and are working with them to find a workable solution.

"However, the Welsh Government currently have travel restrictions in place which means travel in to and out of Wales is not permitted unless you have a reasonable excuse.

"The council has provided advice to Llanymynech Golf Club on what the latest restrictions are following the Welsh Government's announcement at the end of last week. Travel restrictions can only be enforced by the police."

In a short statement issued on Monday, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: "It would be reasonable for members of Llanymynech Golf Club to enter or leave Wales within the confines of the golf course."