Golf courses in Northern Ireland can reopen

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2020 18:02

Golf courses across Northern Ireland can reopen to their members on Wednesday, May 20, the Stormont Executive has confirmed.

It means that, as from Wednesday, for the whole of the British Isles, only golf courses in Scotland must remain closed. In that country, golf courses can reopen ‘within a few days’ from the easing of its lockdown, which will be on Thursday, May 28.

Confusion surrounded the announcement as it originally appeared to be for tomorrow, but the Golfing Union of Ireland has said golf will return in Northern Ireland on Wednesday.

Recently the golfing authorities in Ireland issues a five step plan to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Over the weekend, the Golfing Union of Ireland released its protocol for a return to action in Northern Ireland, with First Minister Arlene Foster urging all players to stick to those guidelines.

Included were stipulations that no club competitions take place and only members are allowed onto the course. There is no travel restriction in place.

Golfers should play in groups of no more than three players, although individual clubs can further limit those numbers. Golfers can play with people from outside their own households providing social distancing is observed.

Players should, however, not travel to courses in the same vehicles as people from outside their own households, not arrive at clubs more than 15 minutes before their tee-time and leave the club immediately after their round is finished.

On course measures should be put in place such as the removal of rakes from bunkers and altered cups so that flagsticks do not need to be touched.

Royal Portrush GC in Northern Ireland. Image from Facebook

Signage should also be erected to remind players to observe social distancing practices at all times.

The GUI has also strongly recommended that juniors should only be permitted to play if accompanied by an adult.

A spokesman added that fourballs can return in the next (second) of five phases at an undefined date, and members will then be able to play in closed competitions and bring guests to their clubs.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2020 18:02
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