Unions publish protocol for golf's safe return

​Joint communication from GUI and ILGU to all affiliated golf clubsTo: Club Communication Officers of clubs in the Republic of IrelandFAO: All club officials, management and all staff

  • 08 May 2020

Note: Further communication relating specifically to Northern Ireland will be issued after the UK government/NI Executive confirms arrangements.

Unions publish protocol for golf's safe return

•           Protocol sets out safe measures for golf to return in a phased manner

•           All clubs and golfers have a responsibility to ensure it is adhered to

•           Golf fortunate in being one of the first sports to resume during the pandemic

Subject to the Government confirming next week that Phase 1 can commence, golf clubs in the Republic of Ireland can resume activity from May 18th under the Irish government's Roadmap for Reopening of Society and Business once they follow the protocol jointly published by the GUI and ILGU.

This Protocol is the basis on which the Unions and Golf Ireland sought the inclusion by the Government of the resumption of golf in Phase 1 of its Roadmap.


As one of the first sports to be allowed to resume, there is a major responsibility on golf clubs and golfers to ensure that our sport is conducted in a safe and responsible manner. Full adherence to the provisions of this Protocol is absolutely essential.


It should be noted that the Government continues to monitor the situation closely and have not ruled out the reintroduction of restrictions which could see golf clubs closed once again if the Protocol is not followed.

The Protocol is aligned to the five planned phases of the Government's Roadmap and sets out how the restrictions on golf will be eased over the coming months. Please note that this Protocol may be updated or amended in line with ongoing Government advice.

Golf is in the very privileged position to be allowed to resume at this stage and this return has been based on the sport being able to demonstrate to government that it can take place in a safe, socially distant manner.


All clubs, golfers and staff have a shared responsibility to ensure the Protocol is adhered to. We ask that clubs pledge their commitment to implementing the protocol by signing up here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ROIProtocol 


We are aware that there are several other unofficial guidelines in circulation. These documents have not been reviewed by the relevant government departments and state agencies. Therefore, golf clubs and golfers must exclusively adhere to the Protocol as published by the GUI and ILGU.

The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency remains our primary concern and overriding priority. The Unions acknowledge the tremendous efforts of all frontline workers which has allowed golf and society in general to consider this gradual return to normal life.

The Protocol is attached to this email and also available for download at www.golfnet.ie