Rules for Golfers in Phase 1
This Protocol sets out the basis on which golf can be played in a safe manner, during Phase 1 of the Government's Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Golfers are expected to observe the underlying public health guidance set out at www.hse.ie/coronavirus/ and www.gov.ie. These rules are subject to change and golfers are asked to check www.golfnet.ie regularly for updates.
To ensure that the game is played safely, golfers must observe the following rules:
In advance of play:
If you are ill or have symptoms, stay at home.
Schedule your tee-time in the manner prescribed by your golf club. Under no circumstances should you arrive at the club without booking in advance.
Ensure that your group size is no greater than what is allowed by your club (the maximum number your club can allow in any event is three).
Ensure that you have sufficient numbers of golf balls, markers, tees to avoid having to exchange equipment with others.
Wash your hands and your golf equipment before you leave home.
Aim to arrive at the club no more than 15 minutes prior to play.
Travel to the golf course on your own or with members of your own household only.
Park your car in such a way as to facilitate physical distancing.
Observe physical distancing rules at all times following your arrival at the club.
Change your shoes in the car park.
Warm-up alone. Observe physical distancing rules on practice range and on the practice putting green. If your club has taken the decision to close practice facilities, this must be strictly adhered to.
Avoid holing out on practice putting green, putt to a tee-peg instead.
On the course:
Do not arrive at the first tee more than 5 minutes before your allotted tee time.
Observe physical distancing at all times on the course.
Following play of a hole, do not enter the next teeing ground until the all members of the group in front have played their teeshots and exited the teeing ground.
If you must use a golf buggy, it must only be used by you and cannot be shared with or used by another player during the round.
Do not exchange or share equipment, food or drink with other players during your round.
If your ball is lost, unplayable, or in a penalty area, don't take an option under the rules that involves doubling back on your position on the course. Instead, use an option that allows you to keep your position on the course.
Do not pick up another player's equipment or golf ball.
Do not use on-course water fountains, ball cleaners etc.
Do not use rakes in bunkers. Smooth out the sand using your club after being in a bunker.
Do not touch the flag or flagstick. Putt with the flagstick in and remove your own ball from the hole.
After your round:
Return directly to your car, change your shoes, put your equipment in your car and leave.
Avoid entering the clubhouse. If you must use the toilet facilities, ensure you adhere to health and safety guidelines.
In addition, the following guidelines should be observed:
Use the toilet facilities before you leave home.
Bring your own hydration/food to the course.
Bring your own hand sanitiser to the course & use regularly during the round.
You must book a tee-time online for casual golf on masterscoreboard. Anyone who has yet to pay their membership will not have access to masterscoreboard until they have paid. You should not arrive at the club without booking in advance. The timehseets can be found under FUTURE COMPETITIONS.
Timesheets for May 18th to May 22nd will open at 8pm on Friday May 15th. After that timesheets will open 1 week beforehand at 9am i.e. timesheet for May 23rd will open at 9am on May 16th
PLAN FOR ALL-IRELAND INTER-CLUB COMPETITTIONS
The Golfing Union of Ireland is asking clubs to consider a plan to complete four All-Ireland Inter-Club competitions, the All-Ireland Medal and one All-Ireland Under-18 Inter-Club event later this year.
The Union has been considering options for inter-club golf in 2020 over the past month, through consultation in its internal Committee structure, and externally with host clubs and sponsors. The plan's circulation today also comes after further consideration of the Republic of Ireland's Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and Northern Ireland's Plan for a Phased, Strategic Approach to Recovery.
However, the Union is clear that these competitions will only go ahead following consideration of feedback from the clubs themselves, and subject to public health advice.
Following circulation of the Plan today, an entry questionnaire will be issued to all golf clubs early next week inviting feedback on participation. It will be requested that this is completed by Sunday 7th June, after which the Union will finalise its plans regarding Inter-Club golf for 2020.
The plan focuses on playing the AIG Senior Cup, AIG Junior Cup, AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield and AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, in addition to the Irish Under-18 Boys Inter-Club and All-Ireland Gold Medals, mainly through August, September and October.
It proposes the use of adjusted rules, formats, schedules and protocols to prioritise the safety of all involved and make participation easier from logistical and cost perspectives for clubs.
In order to mitigate against sharing of equipment (including golf balls), the plan envisages the Jimmy Bruen and Pierce Purcell competitions being conducted as four-balls for 2020.
The format would be match play with early rounds (ie, prior to the provincial quarter-finals at least) played on a localised basis where practicable with three matches in the club drawn at home and two matches at the club drawn away.
Normal conventions around practicing, team dining and other issues surrounding the playing of matches would be dispensed with or modified as necessary to incorporate social distancing guidelines and make clubs' participation more affordable and logistically less onerous.
The remaining All-Ireland inter-club competitions (the AIG Barton Shield, Irish Mixed Foursomes, All-Ireland Four-Ball and Fred Perry Trophy) will not proceed in any event, and all entered clubs will have their entry fees refunded following the period for feedback from the questionnaire period.
To facilitate this plan, the All-Ireland Finals have been provisionally rescheduled for 15-18 October in Donegal Golf Club. We are extremely grateful to Donegal for their continued support as the host venue for the 2020 finals. The plan also outlines the broad timeline that would need to be met in order to make it possible to stage the All-Ireland Finals, and the contingencies available should it not be possible to meet these. For the benefit of clubs wishing to participate, the Union will strive to make decisions at the earliest possible moment on these matters and as such is continually monitoring and consulting public health advice.
The ILGU has produced a similar plan and is separately communicating with clubs seeking feedback on Women's Inter-Club competitions. Further details of this are available on www.golfnet.ie.
Golf's governing bodies welcome Government announcement on the reopening of golf courses
Golf's national governing bodies - Golf Ireland, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland - have warmly welcomed the Taoiseach's confirmation that golf courses can reopen for play on a restricted basis in the first phase of the Government's roadmap for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions later this month.
Since the restrictions were introduced in March, the governing bodies have been engaging intensively with the Irish Government and its agencies on a range of issues including the financial impact of the crisis on golf clubs, the importance of allowing essential maintenance of courses over the past five weeks, and the potential for the safe resumption of golf.
To that end, golf's governing bodies have prepared a comprehensive draft protocol on the safe resumption of play on which we have been engaging with the Government over recent weeks. We now intend to finalise this protocol in the coming week, in consultation with the Government, and issue clear advice to our member clubs well in advance of the reopening of courses on 18 May. That advice will emphasise the absolute necessity of golf clubs adhering to the terms of the protocol for safe play.
In the initial stage, play will be for members only and competitions will not be permitted. We would ask clubs to refrain from opening timesheets for booking until the protocol is published, as it will contain vital information on group sizes and timesheet intervals.
The governing bodies will also continue to work closely with the Government in the coming weeks and months to seek support for golf clubs that have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions.
As today's announcement only relates to golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland, the governing bodies will continue to work with the U.K. authorities and the Northern Ireland Executive to seek the safe resumption of golf for our clubs in Northern Ireland.
Mark Kennelly, CEO of Golf Ireland said:
"The golf community in Ireland welcomes the Taoiseach's confirmation that our clubs can reopen on a restricted basis in the first phase of the Government's plan to ease the Covid-19 restrictions. This means that golf will be one of the first sports to resume and will give golf club members the opportunity to return to play on a limited but safe basis.
"Golf offers the potential to play a significant role in the recovery from this crisis in public health terms. Our sport provides a valuable outlet for healthy outdoor activity which can be enjoyed with the appropriate safety measures in place".
"We hope that, later in the year, golf can also make a valuable contribution to economic recovery, particularly in the domestic tourism sector."
"On behalf of the national governing bodies, I want thank the golfers of Ireland for putting the health of their communities and fellow members first during this crisis and to urge them to continue to strictly adhere to the protocols for safe golf which will be finalised shortly and to continue to follow the public health advice of the Government and health authorities."
"We wish to acknowledge the tremendous efforts being made by frontline workers across Ireland whose commitment and dedication to caring for those inflicted with COVID-19 has led us to a point where we can begin to consider a return to activities such as golf."