Cross-border confusion continues for English golfers at Llanymynech Golf Club

English members of a golf club with some of its holes in England and others in Wales may still be unable to tee off due to "ambiguous" restrictions over crossing the border.

A view of the 4th hole at Llanymynech Golf Club where golfers tee off from Wales and putt in England
A view of the 4th hole at Llanymynech Golf Club where golfers tee off from Wales and putt in England

Officials at Llanymynech Golf Club have raised concern over how the majority of its members will access the club, which has 15 holes in Wales and three in England, as lockdown restrictions change.

The course has been open for two weeks, as a result of laws being relaxed in Wales before England.

However English golfers have been unable to leave their home without a "reasonable excuse" until the rules changed today. Courses across England are now back open along with other outdoor sport venues under the updated laws but people are encouraged to stay local.

The border is still causing an issue at Llanymynech, with confusion over whether golfers are allowed to cross the border into Wales, an act that is momentarily required for English members to play at the "English-locked" golf at the club off Hill Rise.

Welsh Government rules say you should not cross in or out of Wales without a "reasonable excuse".

Can I cross from England to Wales?

Not without a "reasonable excuse". However specific guidance has not been issued for brief trips in and out of Wales on the way to an English venue.

The Welsh Government says that travel in and out of Wales is not permitted without one.

  • The Government cites the following as reasonable excuses for crossing the border.

  • To meet other people in your support bubble, if you have one

  • To escape a risk of illness or injury, such as for victims or people at risk of domestic abuse

  • To provide or receive emergency services

  • To attend a wedding, civil partnership or funeral if you are invited

  • To vote in an election

  • For elite athletes, to train or compete (or for others, to provide coaching or other similar support to an elite athlete)

Club chairman Stuart Jones said the "ambiguous" rules mean English members of the club, which make up 67 per cent of membership, would need to "cross a cattle grid" onto Welsh land before they can return to English soil to play golf.

He said: "We are looking at a scenario on Monday morning of English members of our golf [club] still being unable to play their local course as allowed under the English restrictions because they have to cross a Welsh border."

The club says it has sought clarification from Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and Member of the Senedd Russell George with little to no response.

It also confirmed it had contacted the police and Shropshire MPs in order to fix the problem, which still remains an issue as of today.

The cliff-top course, where Ian Woosnam learnt to play, has had similar issues throughout the pandemic.

On March 16, the course opened following the ease of lockdown restrictions in Wales.

Only a handful of golfers were able to enjoy the unusually quiet holes at the club, which is the only one in Britain to have holes in both Wales and England.

The cross-border conundrum has seen the committee having to work hard to study the different rules and interpret where it has stood during the different versions of each lockdown over the past 12 months.

It is affiliated to the Shropshire & Herefordshire Union of Golf Clubs and the English Golf Union and, as a result, in May last year was only able to follow the Golf England guidelines which allowed the action to recommence a little earlier than fully Welsh counterparts.

The differences in rules either side of the border have also stopped some Welsh caravan owners from visiting their caravans in Llanymynech due to them being in the English part of the park.

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