Golf remains 'open and accessible', even within the constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, insists the game's governing bodies..
Competitions and events have been postponed 'indefinitely' but the GUI and ILGU say that the restrictions do not prevent rounds of golf taking place.
However societies and visitors to clubs for Open Days "require some form of screening or should be discouraged for the time being."
It says that while areas within golf clubhouses may not be available due to the need for social distancing, the sport remains open and accessible.
"Club membership has never been more important. Golf club members can still play and enjoy their golf while acting within the guidelines.
"We need to be cognisant of the social nature of our game and how this element of it is impacted. It is important that clubs and members demonstrate social distancing practices. Golf needs to demonstrate total compliance with the instructions laid out by the health authorities.”
All GUI and ILGU Championships, inter-club matches and practice sessions, scheduled up to and including April 30th will not take place.”
The GUI and ILGU reminded clubs about:
- Increased social distancing
- Availability of hand sanitisers, both in the clubhouse and on-course
- Regular changing of towels
- Asking 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
- Handling of scorecards.
Since the revision of the Rules of Golf in 2019, scorecards can now be in electronic form (via phone app etc) and committees can specify a method of electronic certification if this option is taken. Where this is not an option, competitions should be discouraged, the guidelines suggest.
Other measures clubs can take include:
Take all ball washers, bins, sand bags, benches, divot boxes and non-essential furniture in off the course.
Remove bunker rakes where players play the ball as it lies if possible. Alternatively players can lift, smooth the sand with their foot and place the ball.
Instruct players to leave the flag in the hole unattended at all times.
Only permit one person per buggy in line with social distancing guidelines