Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings in Golf ProShops from Friday 24 July 2020

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.

Stay Safe and Play Safe

Tony

Email: tony@my-golf.uk

Rules Golf: www.my-golf.uk

 

COVID-19 Restrictions – R&A, England Golf and CONGU Updates 29 June 2020

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.

England Golf’s ‘A Framework for Playing Golf

England Golf Coronavirus FAQs

R&A’s COVID-19 ‘Related Guidance on the rules of Golf’

CONGU Guidance on the Rules of Golf for Qualifying Scores

The changes to note from the previous publications are:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. All other removable items to be removed, except that stakes defining areas of the course can be treated as immovable obstructions
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Caddies may be used, provided group sizes do not exceed those specified by government (4 people)
  8. Where used, caddies should only provide guidance to players and should not handle clubs
  9. Appropriate social distancing and sanitising should be maintained by players and caddies at all times
  10. The distance for preferred lies in the bunker is limited to 6 inches and the area cannot be smoothed before placing.
  11. 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
  12. 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).
  13. 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
  14. However, if any of the following provisions are used, play in such circumstances is not in accordance with the Rules of Golf:
    1. Treating a ball as holed or holed with the next stroke if it is within a certain distance of the hole.
    2. Having the hole liner sitting above the surface of the green and treating a ball as holed if it strikes the liner.
    3. 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).
  15. 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.

So, enjoy your golf, Stay Safe and Play Safe

Tony

 

England Golf Update – 3 and 4 Balls to Return

Three and fourball play to re-commence from 1 June

 Words that many have been waiting patiently for since Golf courses were allowed to open.

It means that you can play with your friends and competitions can again be scheduled, although it will mean farewell to the gloriously enjoyable 3-hour rounds we have been playing over the last few weeks. One more player adds up to half an hour to a round, so look out for the 3hrs 30 mins and 3 hrs 50+ rounds.

England Golf is today pleased to confirm that threeball and fourball play can re-commence from Monday 1 June

It remains our recommendation for a minimum 10-minute interval between tee times.

Clubs may choose to run competitions provided social distancing (https://www.englandgolf.org/playsafe/) and safety regulations (https://www.englandgolf.org/coronavirus-faqs/) can be strictly observed at all times.

Full statement from UK golf bodies:

THE latest UK government adjustment of lockdown conditions now permits golf clubs in England to re-introduce the fourball format from Monday 1 June.

As part of a phased return to play, up to four golfers from four separate households may now play together in one single group from the above date.

For coaching in England, the impact of these changes remains unclear. The PGA are working in collaboration with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf to seek confirmation. Further guidance will be communicated once clarity can be provided.

Please note it is essential that golfers continue to strictly observe social distancing and safety regulations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All other industry guidelines pertaining to the playing of the game remain unchanged from those issued ahead golf’s phase one return on 13 May.

While COVID-19 remains a live threat in our communities, we would ask everyone involved in the game to act responsibly, show respect and protect the wellbeing of golfers, staff and volunteers.

**The following organisations have come together to help golf in the UK during the COVID-19 crisis and, through the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, to work with Government to promote safe golf:

American Golf; The Belfry; the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association; the British Golf Industry Association; England Golf; the Golf Club Managers’ Association; Golf Ireland; the Golfing Union of Ireland; the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union; IMG; The Professional Golfers’ Association; PING; The R&A; Scottish Golf; Syngenta; the UK Golf Federation; Wales Golf.

You can download a copy of the Official statement by clicking on the download button below:

Download “England Golf 3 and 4-balls to Return Word Document” England-Golf-Update-3-and-4-Balls-to-Return.docx – Downloaded 31 times – 80 KB

Download “England Golf 3 and 4-balls to Return PDF Document” England-Golf-Update-3-and-4-Balls-to-Return.pdf – Downloaded 26 times – 142 KB

Enjoy your golf, but remember, Play Safe and Stay Safe

Best wishes

Tony

Coronovirus FAQs for GB&I on the Return to Golf

Coronovirus FAQs for GB&I on the Return to Golf

National Golfing Organisations Covid-19 FAQs

Following the re-opening of Golf Courses in GB&I, each National Organisation has issued its FAQs regarding playing golf in its country.

Although very similar, some of the details of the restrictions do vary in each country.

Click here to view the England Golf FAQs regarding the reopening of Golf in England

Click here to view the Wales Golf FAQ’s regarding the reopening of Golf in Wales Updated V3

Click here to download the Wales Golf Guidance Document for Playing Golf in Wales and UK Under COVID-19 Restrictions (VERSION 3)

Click here to download the Wales Golf, ‘Golfers Stay Safe Guidance’ infographic (VERSION 2)

Click here to view the Golf Ireland FAQs regarding the reopening of Golf in Northern Ireland

Click here to view the Scottish Golf FAQs regarding the reopening of Golf in Scotland

If you are returning to playing golf, Stay Safe and Play Safe

Remember that if you are in the ‘Vulnerable Category’, which includes those over 70 years of age government guidelines must still be followed and returning to playing golf is at your own discretion.

If you are in the ‘Extremely Vulnerable’ category then you must be shielding and ‘Stay at Home’ – so no Golf for you yet.

So Stay Safe and well

Tony

Playing Golf Under COVID-19 and an Update on the World Handicap System

Playing Golf Under COVID-19 and an Update on the World Handicap System

Well, what a start to the 2020 Golfing year. First we have courses unplayable because of torrential rain and now, just when the season should be getting underway we have COVID-19 pandemic and total lockdown.

But, with the UK Government suggesting that we have passed through the first phase of the crisis, there is optimism that there may be an easing of some lockdown restriction.

The Golfing industry has taken this as very promising and several of golf’s governing and professional bodies have issued separate guidance to clubs on five main areas as the industry develops how the game could be played when lockdown restrictions start to be lifted, and bear in mind that Social Distancing and COVID-19 may be with us for a while to come.

Separate guidance statements have been released:

One from the R&A, one from England Golf, and a joint report from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), British Golf Industry Association (BGIA), British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association (BIGGA), Foremost, Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA), TGI Golf, and the UK Golf Federation.

The guidance covers everything ranging from bunker rakes to flagsticks, the number of holes we are allowed to play, and clubhouses being reopened.

You can read each statement by following the links below:

The R&A statement suggests that, Clubhouses should be closed and competitions shouldn’t be played during the initial period when golf returns from the coronavirus lockdown and covers five main areas – course set-up, before, during and after the round and Rules of Golf related issues – after working with a range of UK bodies on how golf could be played when the government decides it is safe to begin easing the current restrictions.

On a lighter note, England Golf has today published an update to its information on the World Handicap System scheduled to be introduce in GB&I on 2 November 2020.

Their statement reads:

‘The hard work behind the scenes continues as we prepare for the launch of the World Handicap System in just six months’ time. Next week, we will roll out the latest stage of our education campaign to golfers ahead of the 2 November start date. There will be an easy to follow, step-by-step series on the key elements of WHS:

  1. An introduction to the World Handicap System
  2. Your Handicap Index
  3. Submitting scores
  4. Maintaining your Handicap Index’

You can read more by following this link:

England Golf – WHS 2020

Enjoy your weekend as much as you can under these unprecedented circumstances, stay positive safe and well and we all will enjoy playing golf soon; albeit, not quite in the format we are used to for the time being.

Best wishes

Tony