Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Golf ProShops from Friday 24 July 2020
England Golf COVID-19 Guidelines Update – 22 July 2020
On Wednesday 22 July 2020, England Golf updated their CoVID-19 Play Safe Framework on the wearing of face coverings in Golf ProShops following the UK Governments Guidelines.
To make reading easier England Golf have highlighted changes to their Play Safe guidelines in Blue.
From Friday 24 July it is mandatory for customers to wear a face covering inside a shop. This will apply inside stand-alone professional shops where a fine of up to £100 may be imposed on anyone breaking this rule.
There are some exemptions to wearing face coverings including children under the age of 11 and those with certain disabilities.
If the professional shop is located within a clubhouse and forms an integral part of that building, then there may be some discretion in the requirement for face coverings to be worn. Please check latest government advice.
You can download a copy of the England Golf Play Safe Framework for Players by clicking HERE.
With the World Handicap System up and running in most countries you can now search for the Slope Rating of many Golf Course, worldwide.
Introduction of the World Handicap System in GB&I is still on track for 2nd November 2020.
All Golf Clubs have been issued with digital educational material allowing them to organise club information sessions .
If you want to know your Golf Course’s, or any Golf Course’s, Slope Rating, follow the link below to the USGA Course Rating and Slope Database (TM) where you can, by entering details of a Golf Course, search for the Slope Rating of any Golf Course Worldwide which has had its Slope Rating issued for 2020. For England enter Country as ‘England’ NOT ‘UK and Leave the Club State field blank. Note that the layout you see will be different for Windows and iOS (iPad, iPhone) best layout is Windows:
It’s great to see so many of you out there playing golf, not just regular golfers but new golfers and some coming back into the fold.
I thought I would steer away from COVID-19 for a while and let you know something that not many of you may know about.
During the early part of Lockdown some members of golf Clubs cancelled their subscriptions and some Golf Clubs, to help their cash flow approached their National Organisations requesting a possible refund of affiliation fees.
Some, like Scottish Golf and Wales Golf, offered help:
Scottish Golf announced that it was inviting clubs to apply for a refund of up to 25% on their total 2019/20 affiliation fee invoice as part of an immediate financial commitment of more than half a million pounds.
Golf clubs in Wales were being given a five-month affiliation fee ‘holiday’ by the country’s national governing body to help offset estimates losses of £5.6million brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The way in which affiliation fees are collected does differ between nations and there are differences between the nations as to how the affiliation fee is spent which makes many golfers ask the question are affiliation fees good value?
In England, the situation with England Golf is, and this is my only experience:
As part of your club membership subscription you pay an annual affiliation fee to your National Golf Organisation, in the case of England this is England Golf. This will be £9.50 in 2020.
The following explains how England Golf uses the fee to benefit both you and the game of golf.
Obtain your handicap and authoritative advice: England Golf administers the CONGU handicap system and calculates and assign members’ handicaps, as well as adjudicate on queries.
Experience first-class competitions: Over 6,500 England Golf members of all ages and abilities compete in their 55 club, regional and national championship events every year.
Invest in elite amateur performing at the highest level: England Golf provides the very best coaching, competitive opportunities and funding for 150 regional and 50 national squad players.
Protect players and the sport’s reputation: England Golf keeps our sport safe, managing all safeguarding and disciplinary cases for the amateur game.
Help golf clubs thrive and grow: England Golf supports golf clubs to get more people playing golf. Last year this work introduced an additional 250,000 people to the game, which resulted in 17,000 new memberships.
Get great golfing benefits and discounts: Every England Golf member can take advantage of their ever-growing range of their exclusive offers, discounts and prize-draws by registering with our My England Golf programme.
Amongst these benefits is one that Golf Clubs do not always tell their members about and that is Personal Liability Insurance
As of 1 July 2019, every member is provided with £10m personal liability insurance as part of their affiliation to England Golf.
England Golf is working with specialist insurance broker Bluefin Sport to provide this cover, which is underwritten by Allianz.
It provides personal liability insurance for golf club members in the event that they are held liable for injuring someone or causing serious property damage at a golf facility.
The cover is provided for members playing at any club in the UK. There is no excess in respect of personal injury claims, and just a £500 excess in respect of damage to third party property.
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak all golf clubs should be aware that insurance provided free to members via the England Golf affiliation fee is not valid during this period of course closure.
You can read the Insurance FAQs by clicking here or downloading a copy by clicking on the button below:
COVID-19 Restrictions – R&A, England Golf and CONGU Updates 29 June 2020
Well I hope everyone is managing to get out to play a little golf; it certainly feels a bit unusual playing under the COVID-19 restrictions, a bit clinical but at least we’re getting some golf in now.
Golf is a social game, and to have to leave a course as soon as you can after playing, takes some getting used to. This may change for some when Clubhouses can open, under strict conditions, on Saturday 4 July.
Remember however that the COVID-19 restrictions will still be in place and MUST be strictly adhered to comply with Government safety guidelines.
These restrictions are there for Clubs to provide a safe environment for staff and players and a means of being able to play golf safely.
The restrictions were agreed in consultation with the All-Part Parliamentary Group for Golf, led by Craig Stacey, the MP North Warwickshire and it was on England Golf’s assurance that all Golf Clubs would adhere to the restrictions that Golf Courses could open.
Many Clubs have enjoyed the opportunity to play social rounds and with the Government allowing groups of up to 4 people to play, some have even brought back competitions and qualifying rounds. I hope they do not abuse the easing of restrictions and assume it is ‘business as usual’. The pandemic still has some time to run.
The R&A and CONGU, without changing the Rules of Golf issued some temporary changes to the Rules to allow rounds to qualify for handicap purposes. These were first published at the beginning of June 2020 but were modified on Monday 29 June 2020.
You can read the full publication of England Golf’s ‘A Framework for Playing Golf’ and the R&A’s COVID-19 ‘Related Guidance on the rules of Golf’ by clicking on the respective link below.
The changes to note from the previous publications are:
All rakes and ball-retrievers to be removed. Players may bring their own personal rakes and retrievers, which should only be handled by that player and taken away at the end of their round
Open-top bins may be used on course, provided that measures are taken to sanitise the bin and to ensure players do not touch the bin or its contents
All other removable items to be removed, except that stakes defining areas of the course can be treated as immovable obstructions
A minimum 10-minute interval is advised between tee times, but clubs may use shorter intervals, provided that they can demonstrate that this is safe and ensures appropriate social distancing
Clubs/facilities to communicate in advance with golfers to advise on social distancing requirements that are being applied on arrival at the club/facility, for example not leaving cars until a certain time before their tee time
Clubs/facilities to have procedures in place for the practice putting green, for example giving priority of use to the players in the next group due to tee off
Caddies may be used, provided group sizes do not exceed those specified by government (4 people)
Where used, caddies should only provide guidance to players and should not handle clubs
Appropriate social distancing and sanitising should be maintained by players and caddies at all times
The distance for preferred lies in the bunker is limited to 6 inches and the area cannot be smoothed before placing.
Golfers are required to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times and not to touch it. It is a matter for the Committee to decide whether it establishes this policy by way of a Code of Conduct or Local Rule, and whether it provides a penalty under the Code of Conduct or for a breach of the Local Rule
Players may centre the flagstick in a safe manner which does not involve using the hand, even when wearing a glove or using a towel (for example, by using a club). The centring of the Flagstick may be allowed while another player putts (this may be desirable in windy conditions when the Flagstick is required to be left in the hole and is leaning towards the player making the stroke).
The hole liner (sometimes referred to as the hole ‘cup’) is to be set in a way that means that all of the ball cannot be below the surface of the putting green, so the ball is considered holed if any part of it is below the surface of the putting green
However, if any of the following provisions are used, play in such circumstances is not in accordance with the Rules of Golf:
Treating a ball as holed or holed with the next stroke if it is within a certain distance of the hole.
Having the hole liner sitting above the surface of the green and treating a ball as holed if it strikes the liner.
Treating a ball as holed when it has bounced out of the hole for any reason (for example, when it has bounced off the flagstick, a tray attached to the flagstick or the hole liner).
Golf clubs can sell takeaway food and drinks until indoor bar and catering facilities reopen on 4 July 2020, in line with their existing licences and provided food and drinks are only consumed on the course or away from the premises. From 4 July, indoor bar and catering facilities can reopen under strict control. Payments should be contactless or made during pre-order. Clubs are reminded outdoor seating areas around the clubhouse should not be in use at this time.