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 COVID-19 Restrictions – Update 14 October 2020

England Golf COVID-19 Restrictions update 14 October 2020

Coronavirus FAQs on the return of golf

Last updated:  Wednesday 14 October (impact of three-tier system on clubhouses, actions following a golfer/staff member testing positive for Covid-19)

Q- What is the government advice on travel in relation to ‘very high risk’ (Tier 3) areas?

A- Golfers from a very high-risk area (Tier 3) should avoid travelling outside their locality. Travelling into a very high-risk area for the purposes of golf should be avoided. 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.

Q – Can clubhouses reopen for access to indoor bar and catering facilities?

A – The regulations now vary depending on the local Covid-19 alert status of your area.

In areas of ‘medium’ risk (Tier 1), indoor bar and catering facilities within clubhouses may open provided strict guidelines on safety and social distancing are observed. From September 24, clubhouses with food and beverage facilities must close by 10pm and are not permitted to open before 5am. From this date clubs must provide table service only or serve take away for consumption off the premises.

In ‘high risk’ areas (Tier 2), the above rules apply with the additional restriction that people must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting.

In ‘very high-risk’ areas (Tier 3), pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, such as a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.

Full guidance for clubs operating in high-risk areas (Tier 2) can be found here

Full guidance for clubs operating in very high-risk areas (Tier 3) can be found here

England Golf has also issued clubs with a checklist and framework to assist with the safe reopening of bar and catering facilities where it is permissible to do so.

Q – What procedures should a club follow if a golfer/staff member returns a positive test for Covid-19?

A  – Best practice guidance on this subject can be found here

The following links are for details of England Golf’s Recommendations for those areas in High Risk and Very High Risk Categories.

By clicking on the links, you will be able to download copies of those recommendations, which like all the recommendations will be regularly updated as conditions and advice change.

  • England Golf Advice for those areas in Tier 2 COVID-19 Restrictions

  • England Golf Advice for those areas in Tier 3 COVID-19 Restrictions

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:

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

Best wishes

Tony