Sam Newman is on the steps at Spring St with his golf bag waiting for Dan Andrews to ask why Victorians can’t play golf. Picture: Instagram
Sam Newman is on the steps at Spring St with his golf bag waiting for Dan Andrews to ask why Victorians can’t play golf. Picture: Instagram

Furious Newman marches on parliament

Furious former Footy Show co-host Sam Newman has marched on Victoria's Parliament House in Melbourne to angrily demand the state's golf courses be re-opened immediately.

The 74-year-old posted a series of videos of his one-man protest outside the parliament building on Spring Street in Melbourne's CBD where he calls on Premier Daniel Andrews to relax the closure of golf in the state.

The availability of golf courses has been a point of contention throughout Australia with states taking wildly different approaches to the closures of courses.

Newman says in his bizarre video posts that Andrews must backflip on his call to outlaw golf - following the example of NSW, where golf courses remain open under strict restrictions.

Andrews closed all golf courses under Stage 2 restrictions and reports claim courses are not expected to be re-opened until at least the end of May, following the move to Stage 3 coronavirus restrictions.

Under Stage 3 restrictions, golf was banned alongside outdoor activities fishing, hunting, boating and camping.

However, the fact that NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all have golf courses operating on a limited basis, has Newman all steamed up.

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more," Newman posted on Twitter alongside a video of his march down Spring Street.


Sam Newman on the steps at Parliament House.
Sam Newman on the steps at Parliament House.

"Victorians, unlike their interstate counterparts, can't play golf," he said.

"So I'm going to the seat of government, where Daniel Andrews might be in the house, and I'm going to respectfully ask him why in god's name can't we go on to a golf course, social distance, and play golf?

"I'm going to stand here for an hour or so and if he hears that I'm here, I'll put a ball marker down.

"I've got a GPS for social distancing, and we'll ask him - why in god's name can't Victorians play golf? So here we go."

Newman received support from other high profile sporting identities, including Shane Warne and retired AFL players Nick Riewoldt and Dale Thomas.

"I must admit, that you have a very good point - when I went to the supermarket a few days ago, there were 20 people in a confined space, plenty of room in the open space of a golf course," Warne wrote in response to Newman's video.

In a series of other videos attacking Andrews, Newman also called the closure of golf clubs "absolute nonsense".


Andrews earlier this month said he lamented the need to close clubs, but stressed it was a required move as part of the state's coronavirus restriction strategy.

"No-one likes playing golf more than I do, no-one. You don't need to play golf. You might want to play golf, but you don't need to play golf," he said.

"And no round of golf is worth someone's life. That's the key point here.

Newman's protest represents something of a backflip for the notorious loudmouth.

He last month hit out the AFL for being reckless in its decision to press ahead with the opening round of the 2020 season - despite lockdown restrictions forcing the season to be suspended on the same weekend it started.


Shane Warne and Sam Newman on the links in 2018.
Shane Warne and Sam Newman on the links in 2018.

He called the AFL's decision "irresponsible" and "bewildering".

"Some of us are trying to be responsible,'' Newman said.

"They are thumbing their nose at popular opinion around the world.

"Despite warnings from people to reduce the risk, the national competition is embarking on its season.

"To say there's minimal risk, what does that mean?

"Only one person needs to get it and then what happens?

"Relevant bodies around the world are asking citizens to self regulate their behaviour and we're asking millenials and young people to take it seriously.

"For a national competition to commence, attracting four or five thousand personnel, at this time is bewildering.

"You could not say this is a good idea."