Golf courses will remain open and available for use and a number of events postponed but golfers and golf clubs are being asked to observe new guidelines in relation to the outbreak of Covid-19 by the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union.
Observing that the restrictions announced by the Government does not prevent club competitions or casual rounds of golf taking place, the Unions have asked all members and clubs to observe revised guidelines issued by the HSE on Thursday, March 12.
The statement in full reads as follows: "In light of the period of restriction announced today by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19, the GUI and ILGU have issued the following guidance for clubs.
The Unions recognise the need for adherence to the revised guidelines as issued by the HSE today (March 12) and encourage golf clubs to observe them fully.
The restrictions (from 6pm today until Sunday 29th March) do not prevent club competitions or casual rounds of golf taking place, however we need to be cognisant of the social nature of our game and how this element of it is impacted.
Golf is a great sport for people generally to get out and about, exercise and enjoy fresh air. It is played in an outdoor setting where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.
All golf clubs should, at this time, aim to keep their members and staff safe and well.
As such, everyone should be keenly aware of the vulnerabilities golf clubs will face:
The older age profile of golf club memberships than of the general population must be borne in mind
- Groups having close and prolonged contact should be avoided.
- The social aspect of golf clubs should be curtailed, including limiting the potential for the following types of social interaction in accordance with the guidelines as issued today.
- Siren starts with people congregating before and after are discouraged for the time being.
- Prolonged near contact as may happen during Bridge nights, Choir practices and other clubhouse-based activities is to be avoided.
- Visitors either require some form of screening or should be discouraged for the time being.
- Society bookings where food and social interaction is involved afterwards should be limited in accordance with the latest guidance issued by
- Common courtesies – handshakes and other embraces associated with the etiquette of the game – should be avoided and participants may bump elbows or fists as an alternative.
- Social meals for groups in the clubhouse, including at inter-club matches, should be avoided
Golf Clubs should observe the need for the following:
- Increase social distancing through greater space between seating in the clubhouse
- Availability of hand sanitisers
- Regular changing of towels
- Ask members not to come into the clubhouse with colds or any symptoms of Covid-19
- Regular cleaning of surfaces including door handles – hourly in public places
- All golf clubs should note, act upon and continually monitor the advice and guidance issued by the Health Service Executive (Republic of Ireland) and the National Health Service and Public Health (Northern Ireland) in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The list of events postponed is as follows:
GUI & ILGU Championships & Inter-Club Tournaments
The following events are cancelled:
· The Irish Girls’ Open Stroke Play at Roganstown, from 3rd – 5th April*
· GUI National Coaching for Under 16’s on 21st & 22nd March
· GUI National Coaching for Under 18’s on 28th & 29th March
· All GUI regional, provincial and Leinster Pathway coaching sessions up to 29th March
*Though this event is outside the period of restriction, as there is a significant international field it has been decided to cancel it.
The following events are postponed:
· All GUI Inter-Club Matches scheduled on or before 29th March
· Ulster Regional Series 22nd March at Ballyliffin
· Ireland Boys v Wales at Cardigan (Wales), from 20-21 March
· The ILGU have extended the deadline for preliminary matches so that they can be played outside of the period of restriction, if required, and this will be communicated to clubs shortly.
· Scratch Cup event at Woodbrook on 15th March
· All ILGU Girls’ Interprovincial Panel sessions scheduled on or before March 29th
· Irish Colleges Match Play on 26th & 27th March at Woodbrook
· All Golf4Girls4Life Stage 5 & 6 sessions scheduled on or before March 29th
· All Open Legacy Programme Activities on or before 29th March
· All Leaders Courses and Safeguarding Workshops organised on or before March 29th.
The Four Nations Developments Matches (Donabate, Dublin 4-6 April) is under review (due to the international element) with all parties involved and if required a further statement will be issued.
The ILGU will not be sending a squad to the French U21 Championship as originally planned.
All subsequent events remain as scheduled and will be reviewed if public health information is updated. Please await further information from GUI and ILGU in relation to the rescheduling of any postponed inter-club matches.
GUI, ILGU & CGI Meetings
All World Handicap System meetings, GUI, ILGU and Confederation of Golf in Ireland workshops from 6pm on 12th March until 29th March are postponed. We are confident that there will be time to reschedule these once restrictions have been lifted.
As a general precaution, GUI & ILGU committee meetings, where required will happen by tele-conference or dial-in phone service during the period of restriction.
GUI, ILGU & CGI Offices
GUI Headquarters and provincial branch offices will remain open to fulfil essential functions only and otherwise we are instructing staff members to work from home.
The ILGU offices will remain closed during this period.
The GUI National Golf Academy will remain open as normal to the public, observing the required precautions as advised by the health authorities.
Advice to Volunteers
The Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union ask that all volunteers note, act upon and continually monitor the advice and guidance issued by the Health Service Executive (Republic of Ireland) and Public Health/NHS (Northern Ireland) in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It is important that we all work together, following the advice of experts, in controlling the spread of COVID-19 infection.