County Longford Golf Club course reopens on Monday, May 18

Comprehensive protocols in place to facilitate return of golf

Longford Leader reporter

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Longford Leader reporter

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Co longford golf club

President Matt Farrell, Lady Captain Annette Kane and Captain Colm Hughes pictured at the 2020 Drive In at Co Longford Golf Club

County Longford Golf Club course reopens on Monday, May 18 having been closed for the past six weeks due to Covid-19.

It is one of few sports to restart in the country and the regulations are very detailed and the club will be adhering to them to ensure that our members stay safe while playing golf at Co Longford Golf Club.

PROTOCOL FOR THE RE-INTRODUCTION OF GOLF IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

       Rules for Golf Clubs 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.These rules are subject to change and golf clubs are asked to check www.golfnet.ie regularly for updates.

Clubs wishing to open their courses for use must ensure that:

• Members with colds or any symptoms of COVID-19 stay away from the golf course/clubhouse.

• Physical distancing rules are observed by all members at all times in the car park, clubhouse and on the course.

• Play is restricted to:

- members only

- casual golf only (no club competitions or opens).

• Personnel are on hand to monitor adherence with physical distancing rules and the rules for golfers set out in this document.

• Tee times are booked in advance online or over the telephone. Clubs must ensure that players names are recorded on timesheets

and timesheets must be kept for a period of at least 6 weeks to assist with contact tracing should the need arise.

• Daily timesheets are restricted to a minimum of 10, 12 or 14 minute intervals. Clubs may only choose one interval for each day. If

clubs choose 10+ minute intervals, play is restricted to 1 golfer per start time. If clubs choose 12+ minutes, up to 2 golfers may play per start time. If clubs choose 14+ minutes, up to 3 golfers may play per start time.

- (Note: these measures will result in a maximum of 60 golfers occupying an 18-hole course at any given time, this is around 55% of full capacity).

• Bars/restaurants remain closed and off-limits as per government policy. Clubhouse access should be confined to use of toilet facilities (provided they can be kept clean) and initial retrieval of golf equipment from lockers.

• There are no social gatherings, of any size, at the facility.

• Members are instructed not to touch the flag or flagstick.

• Rakes are removed from the course. Players are requested to smooth bunkers using their feet or a club.

• Hire trolleys (electric and pull trolleys) must be sanitised prior to each use.

• Caddies are not permitted (exception: where the group of golfers and the caddies are same household).

In addition, the following guidelines should be observed:

• Signage should be erected to reinforce physical distancing rules.

• Holes/cups should be altered to facilitate easy retrieval of golf balls.

• Hand sanitisers should be made available.

• Regular cleaning of toilets (on course & in clubhouse) if they are in use.

• Where possible ball washers, bins, sand bags, benches, divot boxes and non-essential furniture should be taken in off the course.

Where such fixtures are permanent, they should be taken out of use.

• Where practice putting greens are open, the holes should be filled in or covered, otherwise the greens should be closed.

• Members of the same household should play together, rather than split into mixed groups.

• The use of golf buggies is discouraged.Where a golf buggy must be used, it should be used by one person only and cannot be

exchanged between people during the round. Buggies must be sanitized thoroughly after each use.

• It is strongly recommended that all golf clubs have a policy of allowing juniors to play only if they are accompanied by an adult. In

addition, wherever possible juniors should restrict themselves to playing with other members of their own household.

• Clubs will have to consider ways in which social distancing can be facilitated in practice facilities. If such facilities are open, golfers

must warm up on their own. Holes must be filled in on the practice putting green(s).

• If necessary, defibrillators should be moved to an accessible area and members should be notified of its new location.

                                                            

PROTOCOL FOR THE RE-INTRODUCTION OF GOLF IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

       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.

• If necessary, retrieve your clubs, shoes and other equipment from your locker.

• 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 tee- shots 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.

• 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. Do not store your equipment in your locker.

• 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.