ALL golf clubs have been told to close in a bid to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

England Golf, who guide the game in this country, have taken the step to fall in line with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's request on Monday evening. 

It had been hoped that golf would survive a complete halt because of the mental and health benefits of playing the game - and the fact you can hit the course alone or in a pair.

The professional game has already seen big events like the US Masters and Tour golf suspended.

Now local clubs will be closed, following the moves to stop other sports such as football at every level and cricket

A statement from England Golf read this morning: "Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement tonight (23 March), golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close.

"It is England Golf’s position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice.

"The government has identified an urgent need to introduce new restrictions on public life and on non-essential businesses opening their doors.

"This has been done to limit the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the growing pressure on our National Health Service.

"Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency. 

"The health and wellbeing of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history.

"These are incredibly testing times for the country. The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life.

"We would like to assure the golfing community that England Golf staff will continue to work remotely with all affiliated golfers, clubs and counties to try and minimise the damage caused by this suspension of regular golf club life.

"We will continue to signpost clubs and counties to the latest government advice and schemes designed to help the economy cope with the disruption caused by coronavirus."