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Statement on COVID-19 from GUI and ILGU

​​​​​Updated at 2:30pm on 18th March 2020 - important updates included about events and meetings

  • 16 March 2020



Another statement was issued on 19th March at 4pm - CLICK HERE TO ACCESS​


****Updated at 2:30pm 18/3/2020****

PLEASE NOTE: the update today relates to advice issued in the Republic of Ireland. Clubs in Northern Ireland should follow the advice of Public Health in their area. As other updates are given in both jurisdictions we will attempt to keep golfers informed here.

Following discussions on Sunday with the Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), the government in the Republic of Ireland is now calling on all public houses and bars (including hotel bars) to close until at least 29 March.
 
The LVA and VFI outlined the real difficulty in implementing the published Guidelines on Social Distancing in a public house setting, as pubs are specifically designed to promote social interaction in a situation where alcohol reduces personal inhibitions.
 
For the same reason, the government is also calling on all members of the public not to organise or participate in any parties in private houses or other venues which would put other peoples’ health at risk.
 
While the government acknowledges that the majority of the public and pub owners are behaving responsibly, it believes it is important that all pubs are closed in advance of St. Patrick's Day.
 
The government will continue to monitor the situation, including the compliance of all pubs with this request, as well as any further or different measures which might be required in the future.
 
The effectiveness of the Guidelines on Social Distancing in other parts of the hospitality and leisure industry, for example restaurants and cinemas, will also be kept under review and subject to further consultation with stakeholders in the coming days.

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In light of the period of restriction announced today in the Republic of Ireland by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in relation to the outbreak of COVID-19, the GUI and ILGU have issued the following guidance for clubs:

The Unions recognise the need for adherence to the revised guidelines as issued by the HSE today (12th March 2020) and encourage golf clubs to observe them fully. Golf clubs in Northern Ireland should follow the advice of the Public Health service, see links below. ​

The restrictions (from 6pm today until Sunday 29th March) do not prevent club competitions or casual rounds of golf taking place, however we need to be cogniscant of the social nature of our game and how this element of it is impacted.

Golf is a great sport for people generally to get out and about, exercise and enjoy fresh air. It is played in an outdoor setting where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.
 
All golf clubs should, at this time, aim to keep their members and staff safe and well. 

As such, everyone should be keenly aware of the vulnerabilities golf clubs will face:
 
- The older age profile of golf club memberships than of the general population must be borne in mind
- Groups having close and prolonged contact should be avoided.
-The social aspect of golf clubs should be curtailed, including limiting the potential for the following types of social interaction in accordance with the guidelines as issued today.
-Siren starts with people congregating before and after are discouraged for the time being.
-Prolonged near contact as may happen during Bridge nights, Choir practices and other clubhouse-based activities is to be avoided.
-Visitors either require some form of screening or should be discouraged for the time being.
-Society bookings where food and social interaction is involved afterwards should be limited in accordance with the latest guidance​
-Common courtesies – handshakes and other embraces associated with the etiquette of the game – should be avoided and participants may bump elbows as an alternative.
-Social meals for groups in the clubhouse, including at inter-club matches, should be avoided
 
Golf Clubs should observe the need for the following:
 
-Increase social distancing through greater space between seating in the clubhouse
-Availability of hand sanitisers
-Regular changing of towels 
-Ask 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 in club competitions is a vulnerability – especially for Committee members tasked with finalising results (wearing gloves is strongly advisable in these circumstances).  It should also be borne in mind that since the revision of the Rules of Golf in 2019, scorecards can now be in electronic form (via phone app etc) and the Committee can specify a method of electronic certification if this option is taken.
 

All golf clubs should note, act upon and continually monitor the advice and guidance issued by the Health Service Executive (Republic of Ireland) and the National Health Service and Public Health (Northern Ireland) in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

It is important that we all work together, following the advice of experts, in controlling the spread of COVID-19 infection. 

This is a very fluid situation and we ask clubs to monitor the latest advice regularly.



**


The information below should be read in conjunction with the general advice for golf clubs above.

GUI & ILGU Championships & Inter-Club Tournaments

Golf is a great sport for people generally to get out and about, exercise and enjoy fresh air. It is played in an outdoor setting where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.

Despite this, the GUI and ILGU have taken some measures to reduce risk to competitors and have cancelled or postponed events that are deemed to be unnecessary gatherings during the period of restriction.

The following events are cancelled:

The Irish Girls' Open Stroke Play at Roganstown, from 3 – 5 April*

GUI National Coaching for Under 16's on 21 & 22 March

GUI National Coaching for Under 18's on 28 & 29 March

All GUI regional, provincial and Leinster Pathway coaching sessions up to 29 March

*Though this event is outside the period of restriction, as there is a significant international field it has been decided to cancel it.

The following events are postponed:

GUI

All GUI Inter-Club Matches scheduled on or before 29 March. Leinster Golf has decided that in addition, the First Round of the Irish Mixed Foursomes and Fred Perry Trophy (Closing date 5 April) are also postponed indefinitely.​

Ulster Regional Series 22 March at Ballyliffin

Ireland Boys v Wales at Cardigan (Wales), from 20-21 March

The Four Nations Developments Matches at Donabate, Dublin 4-6 April

ILGU
The ILGU have extended the deadline for preliminary matches so that they can be played outside of the period of restriction, if required, and this will be communicated to clubs shortly.

Scratch Cup event at Woodbrook on 15 March

Scratch Cup event at Royal Portrush (Mabel Harrison) on 21 March

All ILGU Girls' Interprovincial Panel sessions scheduled on or before March 29

The ILGU will not be sending a squad to the French U21 Championship as originally planned.​

The Munster Senior and Junior Championship, from 7 - 9 April

Munster District Ryan Cup 

Ulster Championship (Women’s & Girls), from​​ 15 - 17 April

JOINT

Irish Colleges Match Play on 26 & 27 March at Woodbrook

CGI
All Golf4Girls4Life Stage 5 & 6 sessions scheduled on or before March 29

All Open Legacy Programme Activities on or before 29 March

All Leaders Courses and Safeguarding Workshops organised on or before March 29.​

 All subsequent events remain as scheduled and will be reviewed if public health information is updated.

Please await further information from GUI and ILGU in relation to the rescheduling of any postponed inter-club matches.

​GUI, ILGU & CGI Meetings
All World Handicap System meetings, GUI, ILGU and Confederation of Golf in Ireland workshops from 6pm on 12 March until 29 March are postponed. We are confident that there will be time to reschedule these once restrictions have been lifted.​

As a general precaution, GUI & ILGU committee meetings, where required will happen by tele-conference or dial-in phone service during the period of restriction.

GUI, ILGU & CGI Offices

GUI Headquarters and provincial branch offices will remain open to fulfil essential functions only and otherwise we are instructing staff members to work from home.​

Visitor access is restricted at Q House, Sandyford from Monday 16th March, therefore the ILGU Office will not be open to the public but will continue to operate remotely. 

The GUI National Golf Academy will remain open as normal to the public, observing the required precautions as advised by the health authorities.

Advice to Volunteers

The Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union ask that all volunteers note, act upon and continually monitor the advice and guidance issued by the Health Service Executive (Republic of Ireland) and Public Health/NHS (Northern Ireland) in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

It is important that we all work together, following the advice of experts, in controlling the spread of COVID-19 infection.

HSE: www.hse.ie

NHS: www.nhs.uk ​or PHS https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/