Spread over vast courses outdoors, golf is a sport that almost defines social distancing.
But Canberra's golf courses have been empty during lockdown, causing frustration to players denied the exercise and mental health benefits of their habitual rounds of play.
Meanwhile, just across the border in NSW golfers are still occupying the greens.
Peter Kohlsdorf, the director of Capital golf course in Narrabundah, has found the restrictions under the ACT lockdown devastating.
"Last year's lockdown we were able to operate, however this year restrictions are stronger. The typical cost of maintaining the business is about $70,000 a month with no revenue coming in from customers," he said.
"Support from the government is peanuts to help our business, while I understand the need to keep everyone safe I am in a challenging position.
"What's particularly frustrating is how COVID-safe the sport of golfing is, arguably more so than people having picnics. We have large open fields with a lot of space to socially distance, there's reduced handling of equipment and people are told to bring their own clubs."
Only a 30-minute drive from the ACT border Neville Matthews, club manager for Yass Golf Club, is managing the safety of golfers under NSW restrictions.
"Currently only two people can play together, which is difficult when some members are left out and then can't play at all," Mr Matthews said.
"Obviously I'm grateful we can at least play, the difference in restrictions doesn't make much sense to me. I have two restaurateurs living in Canberra with exemptions to work but a dozen of our club members in Canberra aren't allowed over at all."
Chief executive of Golf NSW Stuart Fraser said it would be important to work with the ACT Government to get a more positive outcome for Canberra clubs when restrictions begin to ease.
"Our aim is to get ACT residents back on the course because the mental, physical and financial wellbeing is huge for communities," Mr Fraser said.
"While we understand the importance of these restrictions, we recently produced a study in early 2021, interviewing 889 individuals in the ACT and NSW and a range of methodologies that concluded how great an impact golf has for people, particularly during these difficult times."
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The study found the annual community impact of golf in the ACT was more than $70 million. It was also found golfers were 21 per cent more likely to have three or more friends to confide in for support.
An ACT government spokesperson said given the highly infectious nature of Delta, the aim of the lockdown was to restrict the movement of people as much as possible to prevent further spread.
"Currently all organised sports are restricted, even if they are held outdoors. There is a significant risk associated with allowing organised sports to reopen.
"The ACT Government needs to take a proportional approach in relation to easing restrictions for businesses and activities. We are constantly reviewing the restrictions and will ease them further when it is safe."
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