LEISURE activities and centres, including golf courses, are set to be shut this Thursday.

As part of the new national lockdown on November 5 indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges must all close.

Golf courses were allowed to reopen in May in the middle of the first lockdown as it was deemed safe enough, however, they must close this Thursday.

Sam Greenhalgh, manager of Regent Park Golf Club in Lostock, said he believed closing golf courses was a bad idea due to its “low risk”.

He said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea considering the low level of risk you get with golf.

“You don’t need to even enter the building, you can have a warden on the tee checking things, it all has to be booked in advance with numbers limited and it’s more than easy to social distance on the course.

“It’s a great way for people to exercise and you can limit the mixing of people.

“It seems very feasible to keep golf going and to give people the opportunity to keep on exercising.

“Our green fees are quite low anyway so we were heaving when we first reopened again which shows people want to come and play and feel safe.

“It now leaves the problem for us that we can’t really furlough staff as we need people to always be maintaining the course and during the first lockdown people did silly things on golf courses.

“People rode bikes on our greens and did other exercise on them, and in bunkers, which left us needing to do more maintenance.

“The course was basically getting abused by some people because it was empty, they don’t appreciate how hard they are to maintain.

“We also need to keep green staff on to maintain the course who we can’t furlough, so will have little income coming in with the course closed but wages to pay.

“All this despite the fact that we can and have been operating safely.”

Indoor facilities such as leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools, which reopened under restrictions in July, must also close again on Thursday.

Bolton Arena bosses say they had also been operating in a safe manner.

A spokesman for Bolton Arena, said: “In light of the current levels of Covid-19 nationally, it’s unfortunate that once again, on government instruction, we are obligated to temporarily close Bolton Arena on Wednesday.

“Since we reopened our facilities in July, the services delivered have been safe and enjoyable, we have been delighted with the reactions of our members and customers.

“The feedback received from our customers across all our facilities and services has been very positive and has reinforced that what we are doing is right and safe.

“While we fully believe as a business we are progressing in the right direction, the news the national rise in Covid-19 and the subsequent government action ties our hands and we must temporarily close."

Members were being contacted this week regarding direct debits.