fbpx
England Golf

Golf after lockdown: England Golf’s guidance

The governing body have issued a series of guides as part of their 'Play Safe, Stay Safe Campaign' in preparation for golf's return after the coronavirus lockdown
 

Putting plans in place to fairly allocate tee times, ensuring volunteers and staff have PPE if needed, and communicating a “draft golfer journey from car park to round completion” are some of the measures England Golf advise clubs could consider in preparation for the sport’s return.

The governing body have published a series of guides under the Play Safe, Stay Safe banner to help golfers, clubs and counties plan in advance for the time courses can reopen following the coronavirus shutdown.

These cover communications, volunteers, business support, preparing your facility and playing the game.

While England Golf stressed there was not currently a date for the return to playing golf, they said: “It is prudent to consider the necessary steps required ahead of the re-opening of golf facilities”.

They added: “We have built a robust framework for clubs and continue to collaborate with the other home nations, The R&A and industry associations to ensure a responsible and organised return to playing the game when government allows it.

“Guidance may require to be re-issued as government measures to combat COVID-19 are reviewed and updated.”

Some of the key points include:

Communications Framework

“Planning and communicating effectively with golfers, staff and volunteers in the weeks ahead will be crucial,” the guide states.

“Making sure everyone is kept in-the-loop will help build trust as golf adapts to the ‘new normal’ in accordance with ongoing government and medical advice.

“It is vital that golf’s return is managed responsibly. ‘Play safe, stay safe’ is the critical message to pass on to all golfers when the time is right again for play.”

A subsequent checklist advises looking at a number of ideas including calling members “current and lapsed – to show you care, regardless of whether they have renewed”.

Other measures include:

  • Communicating a “draft golfer journey from car park to round completion with an expectation of having to adopt social distancing rules around the facility
  • Develop a draft course usage policy – e.g. tee time spaces, starting tees, 9 or 18 holes per round, traffic flow etc.
  • Draft a plan for fair allocation of tee times based on the assumption that demand may exceed availably

Volunteers framework

This guide says: “As we plan for the day when it is safe for golf to return, it is clear that the role of staff and volunteers more than ever will be key to golf clubs re-opening their doors in an organised and responsible manner.

“It is realistic to expect limits and restrictions to normal golfing practices once elements of lockdown are lifted and golf is allowed to re-start. In order to assist staff, there are a number of ways volunteers (either current or new recruits) can play their part in golf’s safe return.”

Potential measures clubs should consider include:

  • Ensuring all volunteers are suitably protected (Personal Protective Equipment) and that you have enough protocols in place to deal with incidents and risk
  • Consider how your club can recognise and reward volunteers – such as offering discounts/vouchers as well as praise for their vital work

A framework for preparing your facility

Noting that greenkeepers have carried out “sterling work throughout golf’s shutdown in accordance with the ‘essential maintenance’ guidelines issued by BIGGA and The R&A”, this guide adds:

“It remains vital for clubs to work within the government and industry guidelines when it is safe for golf to return.

“The temptation to work through a list of course improvements that were planned before the disruption of the last few months should be resisted.

“Naturally, some golf courses may fall significantly short of their normal early summer playing condition and golfers should be advised to lower their expectation levels for the first few weeks or even months after any easing of lockdown.”

A checklist also covers what to think about in buildings, including considering Perspex screens for all serving points, and car parks (can you mark out alternate spaces for use to aid social distancing?).

england golf

A framework for playing golf

This guide repeats the guidance issued by the R&A on behalf of the UK golf industry.

To see the full documents, click the following links:

Follow NCG on TwitterFacebook and Instagram – and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for free online golf instruction, the latest equipment reviews, and much, much more.

Thanks for stopping by.

We wondered if you might like to contribute to supporting our journalism?

As the world enters uncharted waters, we’d like to be able to keep our content open for all to entertain and inform in the months ahead.

We’d like to think we are the voice of the ordinary golfer the world over. Whether your interest is in the game from tour level to grassroots, the latest equipment, or independent course rankings, we’ve got you covered.

If you want to read more about how you can help us and to donate, please CLICK HERE.

 

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.

Latest Posts

NCG magazine cover

Features

How to read the latest edition of National Club Golfer magazine

By

Read full article about How to read the latest edition of National Club Golfer magazine
England Golf Awards

Club

Heroes of the club game celebrated at historic England Golf Awards

By

Read full article about Heroes of the club game celebrated at historic England Golf Awards
How much do member subs contribute to the golf club budget?

Club

How much do member subs contribute to the golf club budget?

By

Read full article about How much do member subs contribute to the golf club budget?
Why your clubs have joining fees - and could they be improved?

Club

Why your clubs have joining fees – and could they be improved?

By

Read full article about Why your clubs have joining fees – and could they be improved?
penalty area in golf

Club

I think I’m in a penalty area but it’s not marked – can I get free relief?

By

Read full article about I think I’m in a penalty area but it’s not marked – can I get free relief?
committee for golf club salaries

Club

Want high standards on your golf course? Pay for them!

By

Read full article about Want high standards on your golf course? Pay for them!
visitor golf green fees

Club

How much did your club pull in from visitor green fees?

By

Read full article about How much did your club pull in from visitor green fees?
ground under repair

Club

Are tractor ruts considered ground under repair?

By

Read full article about Are tractor ruts considered ground under repair?
Preferred lies

Club

Can I switch my ball when taking preferred lies relief?

By

Read full article about Can I switch my ball when taking preferred lies relief?