The Golfing Union of Ireland can confirm that a significant majority of entered clubs have voted to proceed with a plan to run a limited schedule of inter-club competitions and events in 2020.
On 13 May 2020 the GUI wrote to all of its affiliated clubs requesting that they consider whether they wished to participate in a significantly curtailed suite of inter-club competitions later this year.
The plan that was circulated to all clubs at the time is available to view here: https://www.golfnet.ie/SiteAssets/Inter-Club%20Plan%20for%20Clubs.pdf.
Following a three-week feedback period, the results are as follows:
AIG Senior Cup - 160 clubs (81% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
AIG Junior Cup - 218 clubs (74% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield - 227 clubs (73% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
AIG Pierce Purcell Shield - 235 clubs (71% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
All-Ireland Gold Medals - 113 clubs (63% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
Boys Under-18 Inter-Club - 90 clubs (76% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
Jack O’Sullivan (Connacht) - 26 clubs (76% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
Barton Cup (Leinster) - 72 clubs (55% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
Leinster Under-15 Inter-Club - 35 clubs (58% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
Ulster Cup - 67 clubs (68% of original entry number) in favour of proceeding
What happens next?
In accordance with the Plan, the Union and Provincial Branches will now progress planning for the above-mentioned competitions. These next steps are, of course, conditional on the continual unwinding of restrictions as per the roadmaps produced by the authorities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It must be noted, therefore, that the planning of these events is still provisional and contingent on continued progress in defeating the virus.
This being said, the following should be noted:
It is the intention that draws and related information for these competitions will be published on Monday 29th June, with a potential commencement of matches at the end of July subject to public health restrictions.
As will be noted from the plan, it remains to be determined whether the All-Ireland competitions will run to completion, or whether they will conclude at provincial level only in 2020. A decision on this, based on the latest ongoing viability assessments and public health advice, will also be made on Monday 29th June and communicated with the draws.
UPDATE FROM GUI: COMPETITIONS NOT PERMITTED IN PHASE 2
On Wednesday 3 June, at their most recent meeting, the Expert Group on the Return to Sport decided, on public health grounds, that no competitive sport should take place during Phase 2 of the Irish Government's Roadmap for the Re-Opening of the Economy and Society.
Following further engagement with Sport Ireland, the GUI and ILGU can confirm that this sport-wide measure means that competition activity in golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland during Phase 2 of the roadmap is not permitted.
Although we had indicated to Sport Ireland some weeks ago that we had intended on including competitions from Phase 2, the Expert Group has been considering Protocols on a Phase by Phase basis and this week's meeting focused on Phase 2.
We are glad to confirm that the Expert Group has approved the Unions' proposal to allow four-balls in Phase 2.
As has been the case since the beginning of the public health emergency, we will continue to engage intensively with Sport Ireland and the Government and we will continue to update and inform golf clubs on any new developments as this fluid situation evolves.
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 four).
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.
The above email now means competitions will not be allowed until June 29th. Under Phase 2 you are allowed bring members guests to play. You will be able to book a guest on the timesheet on masterscoreboard when you book your tee time. This feature will not be available until Monday.
Entries for the Singles Matchplay and Fourball Matchplay will be left open on masterscoreboard. The draw for both competitions will now take place on June 25th. The entry fee is €10 per person for both competitions. You can pay for the matchplay competitions using the payments details sent out in Tuesdays email . Anyone who has not paid before the draw will not be entered into the draw. As we are starting these competitions later than normal deadlines will have to strictly adhered to.