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Northern Ireland gets green light to reopen golf courses

Golf will be allowed under the Northern Ireland Executive's updated guidelines
 

Northern Ireland golf courses will be allowed to reopen from April 1 as the country moves to Step 2 of its ‘reopening pathway’.

A PGA statement has revealed that, from that date:

  • Northern Ireland golf courses can reopen for two balls and four balls with people from two households, but clubhouses must remain closed. Toilet facilities are permitted.
  • Fitting and indoor studios must remain closed, while driving ranges can open if they are outdoor
  • Coaching is not permitted and retail must remain closed. Contactless click and collect delivery is permitted.
  • Both indoor and outdoor hospitality must remain closed but takeaway is allowed.
  • Travel is permitted within 10 miles.

From April 12, and subject to ratification from the Northern Irish Executive, the country’s stay at home requirement will be replaced with a ‘stay local’ message.

For golf, the PGA say that means:

  • Coaching is permitted outside in groups of up to 15 people.
  • Fitting and indoor studios must remain closed
  • Retail must remain closed but contactless click and collect delivery is permitted.
  • Both indoor and outdoor hospitality must remain closed but takeaway is allowed.
  • Travel is permitted within 10 miles.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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