COVID-19 Restrictions for Each Nation in GB&I

With the good news that Golf should be returning on Monday 29 March 2021 the PGA has broken down the latest COVID-19 restrictions for each nation and produced a helpful diagram explaining the tier-by-tier of golf activity allowed in your region.

*The diagrams were reviewed following the latest Government announcements in the week commencing 22nd February, 2021.

Click on the ‘Read More’ link to read a copy of the appropriate version for your Nation.

England Flag

England

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Scotland Flag

Scotland

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Northern Ireland Flag

Northern Ireland

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Republic of Ireland Flag

Republic of Ireland

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England Golf -All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf February 2021 Infographic

With the full expectation that Golf can return from March 29 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for golf has shared this infographic on the roadmap for the return to golf.

Each stage is highlighted to assist in understanding the change in restrictions during each stage of the government’s plan.

More detail and an in-depth update of the Play Safe Stay Safe guidance will be available early next week.

File Name: England-Golf-Roadmap-February-2021-Infographic.pdf

You can download a copy of the Infographic by clicking on the download Button below:

Will keep you posted as more information on Playing Safe and Staying Safe emerges

Keep safe and well

Playing Golf is on the horizon

Tony

England Golf – COVID-19 Update 28 January 2021

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf is fighting our corner and continues to make a case for Golf being a safe form of exercise and to resume as soon as possible, outlining the rationale behind their arguments.

The report states that golf has the same health benefits as walking, cycling, and running and, with the uncrowded nature of golf courses and strict protocols provided, risk of transmission during golf is lower than these other health enhancing physical activities.

If scientific evidence is to be applied logically and consistently, golf should be permitted to return during the current phase of national lockdown (which commenced on 4 January 2021).

The report also puts forward practices and procedures for the safe management of golfing facilities during COVID-19 restrictions which have been been enhanced to reflect the new variant and national lockdown.

During National Lockdown, or Tiers higher than 4:

  • Persons from one household should be permitted to play together.
  • Two adults from different households may play, while children under 12 from these households should be permitted.
  • 2 metres + (aiming for 3 metres) should be adhered to for members of different households.
  • 4 markings should be placed adjacent to the tees 3 metres apart, highlighting appropriate social distancing • Travel to venue must be local (in keeping with wider guidance re exercise)

The report also sets out operational guidance for golf facility owners, professional and administrative staffs engaged in the management of golf courses, clubs and driving ranges when COVID-19 restrictions are in force in the Nations and Regions of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

It emphasises the point that it is essential that golfing facilities operate safely, meeting the sporting, physical activity and mental wellbeing needs of patrons, while abiding, at all times, by prevailing government public health restrictions.

In response to this, England Golf released the following COVID-19 Update yesterday

‘In response to the latest national lockdown and the government making clear it intends to maintain its “science first” approach in their decision-making process, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf has updated its “COVID-19 Secure Golf in the United Kingdom” paper.

This now includes greater evidence and rationale from leading experts to again make the case for the sport to make an early return.

The updated document, titled “COVID-19 Secure Golf in the United Kingdom 2021“, has been informed independently by epidemiologist and Principal Advisor on Physical Activity for Health to the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers, Professor Charlie Foster and Chief Medical Officer to the European Tour, Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Andrew Murray.

Letters have been sent to the Prime Minister and the Chief Medical Officers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales enclosing copies.

The paper showcases the steps taken by those in the golf industry to ensure players’ and staff safety by meeting the various COVID protocols, as well as the commitment to continue this and be able to recognise and adapt to the changing circumstances linked to the virus.

It goes on to cite academic and scientific research that clearly demonstrate the link between physical activity and physical and mental wellbeing, including supporting the immune system and helping fight disease.

Professor Charlie Foster commented on the paper: “As the paper shows, golf can be played safely, and it should have a central role in the government’s thinking when it comes to helping people exercise now and as we come out of pandemic restrictions.

“I have therefore recommended that an expert in physical activity join the SAGE advisory group to ensure there is consistency across the sciences represented within it, and to provide advice on allowing physical activity to return as restrictions are reduced.”

Dr Andrew Murray added: “Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health adding years to life, and having many mental and physical health benefits, be that through – for example – walking, cycling, running or golf.

“Golf’s careful planning and compliance with COVID-19 tiers and regulation means its level of transmission from playing is likely to be extremely low, much lower than indoor space, or more populated outdoor areas.

“This is supported by the various scientific research the paper cites and I encourage those in SAGE and in government to review those as I am sure they will conclude that golf is similar to walking, running and cycling in being beneficial, and is safe to play with the relevant protocols in place.”

The Group’s Chair, North Warwickshire MP Craig Tracey said: “It is entirely understandable for government to utilise scientific advice available when creating its strategy, but it is equally important for that scientific evidence to be applied evenly.

“With the help of Professor Foster and Dr Murray, this paper provides that scientific evidence and demonstrates that golf can be played safely with the various enhanced protocols appropriate for the new variants.

“I am grateful to them and all the bodies in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf for their hard work on preparing this thorough paper.

“Again we have been clearly able to make the case that golf is ready, willing and able to return safely at the earliest possible opportunity.”

So keep your fingers crossed and an eye on the press.

Stay safe and well

Tony

England Golf – Covid-19 Update: Golf Courses Remain Open in Tier 4 Locations

England Golf – Covid-19 Update: Golf Courses Remain Open in Tier 4 locations

 

For those of you who are unfortunate to be in Tier 4, England Golf have updated their recommendations for Golf Courses located in Tier 4 following the UK Government’s recent announcements on Wednesday 22 December.

If you click on the Button below, or the link, you can learn more:

Covid-19 Update: Golf Courses Remain Open in Tier 4 Locations

Whatever you do, please Stay Safe and Play Safe

 

 

World Handicap System MIxed-Tee Handicap Calculator and Coronavirus Updates

WHS MIxed-Tee Handicap Calculator

Well Christmas is nearly upon us and the end, I hope, of an extraordinary year.

What had all the promise of an exciting golfing year with the launch of the

World Handicap System proved to be exciting in a way we did not expect.

I feel sorry, not just for the disruption to everyone’s golf but to the year that many Captains of all sections had planned and were looking forward too.

But what I have seen is that many adapted to the unprecedented circumstances and became quite enterprising in adapting their golfing calendar and competitions.

AGMs and Captains’ Drive-ins also had to be adapted, but I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone of you have taken on a position within your club this year and wish you every success for 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 Restrictions it is good to see many of you able to play golf and organise or participate in competitions.

The drive to introduce Gender Neutral Tees and also to encourage more mixed competitions, has , from the number of emails I have received,  been taken up worldwide and actually includes many Clubs in England.

This has led to more Mixed-tee Competitions being organised.

However, with the complex nature of calculating Mixed-tee Playing Handicaps under the World Handicap System, many have struggled with the new Handicap Calculations.

CONGU have come to the rescue and produced a WHS Mixed-Tee Handicap Calculator, set out in a Microsoft Office Excel Spreadsheet for everyone to use it covers:

    1. 18 Holes – 2 Tees
    2. 18 Holes – 3 Tees
    3. 9 Holes -2 Tees
    4. Foursomes and Greensomes
    5. Scrambles
    6. Team Competitions, including Best of 4 and Best f 3

To read more about the WHS Mixed-tee calculator, how to use it and Download your own copy click on the link below:

World Handicap System Mixed-Tee Calculator

Enjoy your golf

Stay Safe

Tony

PS  England Golf have updated their recommendations on Play Safe for those of you who, unfortunately, find yourselves in Tier 4.  Follow the link below:

England Golf FAQs and Play Safe Framework

Coronavirus FAQs on the Return of Golf on 3 December 2020

Correction to post:  Coronavirus FAQs on the return of golf on 3 December 2020

Please accept my apologies but there seems to have been some confusion, especially on social media, as to actually when golf could resume in England., December 2nd or 3rd, which not only confused me but England Golf as well.

Addressing this confusion,  Craig Tracey, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, confirmed Golf Clubs  could open on the Wednesday, 2nd December Wednesday.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, new rules come in to effect from 00:01 on 2nd December, so shops, beauty salons, and indeed golf courses, can open on that Wednesday’

Again many apologies to you all.

Tony

Coronavirus – The Return of Golf on 2 December 2020

Coronavirus FAQs on the Return of Golf on 2 December 2020

Following the good news from the UK Government that we can exit the second Lockdown on 2 December and Golf in England can return from 3 December, we are all going to have to get used to a new level of tier restrictions that may be in place until spring.

A question that a lot of us are asking is “Can I play golf in another Tier?”

Some of you may already be used to the tier concept, but the measures announced by the Government, and which will come into force on December 2, are said to be much tougher than those that preceded them.

The Covid tiers will still determine what applies to you and your club in England and they are still labelled Tier 1: Medium Alert, Tier 2: High Alert and Tier 3: Very High Alert.

So, in which tier is your golf club and how will this affect you?

England Golf have updated their Coronavirus FAQs to answer this for you.

The most pertinent recommendation are:

  1. That if you are in a very high alert area (Tier 3) you should avoid travelling outside your locality.
  2. Travelling into a very high alert area for the purposes of golf should be avoided.
  3. Golfers should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if resident in a very high alert level area or avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area if resident elsewhere, and
  4. To find out which tier your golf club is in, please check the government’s postcode tracker

To Download a copy of the England Golf Coronavirus FAQs  click here.

England Golf have also produced two other useful documents:

  1. England Golf Tier to Tier Infographics and
  2. Framework for Playing Safe Updated 27 November 2020

You can download copies of both documents by clicking on the download buttons below:

 

So, enjoy your golf, but remember

Play Safe and Stay Safe

Tony

“Golf is back” – English Golfers Welcome the Game’s Return from Wednesday 2 December 2020

23 NOVEMBER 2020

“Golf is back” – APPGG welcomes the game’s return from Wednesday 2 December 2020

Industry members in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf have welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement today (23 November 2020) that golf clubs and other facilities in England may reopen from 2 December.

The announcement paves the way for golf to return at all COVID-19 alert levels within the Rule of Six, permitting fourball play without restriction on number of households.

Coaching, fitting and ranges will also be allowed to open, as will indoor hospitality facilities in tiers one and two (those in tier three can continue a takeaway service only).

Details are being reviewed by industry bodies and clubs and facilities are encouraged to review the England Golf website for national details, as well as the websites of their industry bodies.

Speaking after the Prime Minister’s announcement, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf’s Chairman, North Warwickshire MP, Craig Tracey said: “I am sure all involved in golf in England welcome the sport’s return and the industry has yet again pulled together to form a coherent message to Government articulating why it was safe to do so.

“As was seen both before and during this lockdown, golf is a sport that can be played safely and the industry adapted quickly to manage the restrictions imposed previously.

“Golf now has operational experience and established COVID secure practices, including rule changes and other mitigation measures that meet the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ directive.

“It is therefore ideally placed to welcome people back when lockdown ends in all the home nations.

“The health and wellbeing benefits of playing golf are well documented in scientific literature and leaders in public health, public policy and sport from across the globe recognise that golf tackles physical inactivity and contributes to the prevention of a range of non-communicable diseases.

“Combining the undeniable benefits that golf offers to a significant proportion of the country, and the steps taken that ensure golf is a sport that can be played safely, the golf industry looks forward to welcoming players back and is confident it can meet future restrictions.”

Great news, but use your common sense and Play Safely.

Enjoy your golf

Tony

Will Golf Courses in England Re-Open After 2nd December 2020? – Launch of My England Golf App

Will Golf Courses in England Re-Open After 2 December 2020?

Now we all hope that courses will re-open on 3rd December, or as soon as possible after that and give us some respite from Lockdown-2 in England.

There may be some light on the horizon, if common sense prevails and it does not put lives at risk.

A forthcoming debate by the UK Government may offer us some sort of promise, but we should know more by Monday evening.

England Golf has confirmed that the UK government will debate the petition that was delivered to it ‘Exempt golf courses from the list of venues required to close due to Covid-19’, which attracted over 250,000 signatures, on Monday 23 November.

As you know, Golf courses in England have been closed since Thursday 5th November, when we started a four-week national lockdown.

That was despite arguments being put forward by England Golf, members of the golfing industry and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf.

England Golf has said that it wholeheartedly supports the views of the petition, details of which you can read by clicking here, that golf courses should be allowed to remain open through this current lockdown, enabling golfers of all ages to continue playing golf and to exercise safely.

England Golf, however, has also acknowledged that there is no guarantee of courses re-opening on 3rd December,

Jeremy Tomlinson, England Golf CEO, said, “We know the benefits our sport can provide for both mental and physical health at this time of isolation and hope the government can recognise this during the upcoming debate and support golf’s return to playing,”.

“Earlier this year, the game of golf was able to clearly demonstrate that it could be enjoyed in a COVID-safe way, which is why it was one of the first sports to return once restrictions were lifted.

“This was a privilege that the sport took incredibly seriously and accordingly adopted the highest possible standards to keep participants safe.

“Our sport has come together in one voice during this difficult year and it’s thanks to the support of our members, clubs and counties, as well as our collaboration with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf.”

Don’t get too despondent if the decision is not the one we would want

On a lighter note,

England Golf have Released a MyEG Mobile App.

My England Golf (MyEG) will allow golfers to stay up to date with their Handicap Index as part of the World Handicap System (WHS).

The app, available now to download for free in Apple and Google Play stores, follows on from the official transition on 2 November to the new WHS for the 1,800 golf clubs and 630,000 golfers across England.

England Golf has created the app to provide golfers with the ability to access their Handicap Index on the go, as well as to easily keep track of their overall playing record on a regular basis.

A Course Handicap calculator is another unique feature of the new My England Golf app.

This function will allow golfers to cross-reference their Handicap Index with whichever set of tees they will be playing from on a particular day, for any course in the country, in order to work out their Course Handicap.

You can read more about MyEG App and how to download it by clicking on the MyEG App link below:

MyEG App Header

Take me to MyEG App

 

As ever

Stay safe and well

Tony

England Golf Courses Are to Close In Lockdown 2.0 Starting on Thursday 5 November 2020

It Has Been Confirmed That England Golf Courses Are to Close In Lockdown 2.0 Starting on Thursday 5 November 2020

The news that we hoped we would not have to hear – golf courses, facilities and driving ranges in England will be closed during the nationwide lockdown until 2nd December, has been confirmed by England Golf.

Despite intense lobbying to government from the golf industry bodies, including England Golf and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, increased national lockdown measures will force the closure of golf clubs and facilities from tomorrow.

There was a light of hope after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was encouraging people to get outdoors and exercise and said that people can meet up with one other person from outside their household.

Playing golf in pairs, as at the easing of the first Lockdown seemed a possibility.

However, after three days of challenging the government to keep courses and facilities open, the answer was no.

A letter has now been sent to all affiliated clubs and facilities to inform them of the fact.

I have reproduced the letter from England Golf below:

It is with a feeling of deep regret that we must now inform all affiliated golf clubs and driving ranges that they should prepare to close from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Pending a vote today in the House of Commons, the UK government has confirmed these closures are required as part of increased national lockdown measures designed to suppress the spread of Covid-19, save lives and protect the NHS.

England Golf, as the governing body for the amateur game and alongside our colleagues in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, respectfully, but vigorously challenged government to argue the case for golf courses to remain open.

As an open-air sport played by limited numbers in a vast outdoor setting which naturally lends itself to social distancing, we lobbied that golf should continue to be played in accordance with our government-approved ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ framework.

With the Prime Minister actively encouraging family households and up to two individuals from different households to exercise in the open air without limit, we strongly believe that golf courses should have remained open as an extension to recreation even if it was necessary to close clubhouses and professional shops.

Participants would have been able to enjoy the obvious physical rewards of playing the game, but perhaps more importantly, the benefits to their mental health at a time of disruption to normal life.

The government engaged in detailed conversation, but has decided not to amend its original guidance and we would ask all clubs and golfers to respect the legislation that is set to come into force overnight.

England Golf staff remain available to support golfers, clubs and counties throughout this period of temporary closure.

We will signpost to relevant information and government advice where we can and as quickly as possible with the help of our Club Support Officer network.

We will also maintain an open line of communication with government in a bid to allow courses and facilities to re-open at the earliest opportunity.

Please continue to check our social media channels and website for all the latest updates on golf and the Covid-19 situation.

I’m proud of the incredible support golf has received from so many quarters in the last few days – a sure sign of how much our game means to so many people in the country.

We will spend the next four weeks strengthening our network and building on this fantastic momentum to make sure that golf is never again in the position of having to close its doors when it can do so much to help support the country’s route out of the pandemic.

Kind regards

Jeremy Tomlinson, CEO England Golf

You can read the actual letter and the full All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf statement by CLICKING HERE.

Stay well and safe, and look forward to returning to golf, in whatever form, after 2 December 2020.

Best wishes

Tony