EDDIE Pepperell is planning to go several weeks without hitting a golf ball, but admits the sudden loss of sport has reminded him how much he loves it.

The Open Championship at Royal St George’s has been the latest big event to bite the dust this week due to coronavirus.

It was scheduled for mid-July – the month Pepperell has been told golf will restart, but the extra preparation needed to host such a big tournament means the organisers could not take the gamble by waiting.

It is already a month since the Abingdon golfer, ranked 65th in the world, last competed.

And other than doing some work in the indoor putting green at his house, Pepperell is not planning to pick up another club until at least May.

He said: “I’m not going to hit a ball through April. In my mind I know I’m not going to be playing competitively until July.

“You can get sharp within two to three weeks, so I’d rather wait.

“I’m not too keen about hitting balls into a net in the back garden.”

The 29-year-old’s last outing ended amid frustration following a disqualification at the Qatar Masters for signing an incorrect scorecard.

But absence has certainly made the heart fonder.

“I’m missing competing, for sure,” Pepperell said.

“This is the one thing that would be good for all of us, anyone who’s competitive.

“Golf can get on top of you and if things aren’t going your way for a while you can soon fall out of love with it.

“But like everything, once it’s taken away you soon realise how much you want it and love it.

“Once we all get going again it will be a great feeling being out and about. You just long for that day, but it’s quite a way off I suspect.”

The European Tour will be under financial pressure to restart the season as early as possible.

And Pepperell has heard suggestions of a radical overhaul to formats, although the Frilford Heath member would like to avoid playing behind closed doors.

He said: “It reminds me of a tournament in Morocco, which used to be in Agadir in what was literally in the King’s garden.

“There was nobody there and it was always odd.

“You’d rather be playing for half the money in front of a massive crowd, than for double the money with no crowd.

“It would be weird, but you’d pull together and know there’s a reason you’re doing it if it came to it.

“There’s the idea of playing two events a week, make them 54 holes and use the middle day to travel.

“I think we’ll do whatever we can.”