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Author: Communications Committee

JOINT RESPONSE TO QUERIES ON COMPETITIONS BY GUI AND ILGU

Saturday, 6th June 2020

In light of the large volume of queries received, the GUI and ILGU would like to clarify the situation which led to its communication to golfers and golf clubs confirming that club competitions would not be permitted in Phase 2.

In mid-April the GUI and ILGU submitted a draft Protocol to Government which outlined the means by which the Unions felt that golf could be re-introduced on a safe, low-risk basis. This submission by the Unions ultimately led to golf being included, as one of only two named sports, in Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

Once the Unions became aware of the phased approach taken by Government, Golf’s Protocol was updated to include phases matching those in the Government’s Roadmap and the Union’s submitted their updated Protocol to Government, including an Appendix setting out Golf’s phased plan. The Appendix indicated that Club competitions would be allowed in Phase 2.

The GUI and ILGU then issued the Protocol to clubs and golfers, emphasising that:

“Public health measures are likely to be continually updated by the Government. Even if golf continues to be allowed in such circumstances, the Protocol governing the safe playing of the game may be updated in line with any changes to public health measures.”

Phase 1 of Golf’s Protocol was subsequently approved by the Government appointed Expert Group on the Return to Sport. Feedback from the group was silent in relation to Phase 2 and subsequent phases.

On the week commencing 25th May, the Unions submitted their detailed Protocol for Phase 2 to Government, including some easing in restrictions relating to group sizes and tee-time intervals, indicating that the Protocol would be published and issued to affiliated clubs on Monday, 1st June.

On Wednesday, 3rd June, the Expert Group on the Return to Sport met and considered Phase 2 protocols from various sports. At this meeting, the Group decided that competitions across all team and individual sports would not be permitted in Phase 2. This was communicated to the Unions on Thursday, 4th June.

Clearly, the Unions remained of the view that golf competitions, played under that conditions set out in Appendix 2 of the Unions Phase 2 Protocol, posed no additional risk to golfers. This was communicated to Sport Ireland on the afternoon of Thursday, 4th June and Sport Ireland were asked to reconsider the position.

On the afternoon of Friday, 5th June, Sport Ireland confirmed the decision of the Expert Group, as follows:

“An important point is that the Expert Group advises against any competitive sport in Phase 2. That is a general point across all sports and not directed at golf specifically although relevant to your plans. Fairness and consistency of the application of advice across all sport is an important element of the mandate of the Expert Group.

 

There is a rationale behind that advice. Phase 2 remains a high risk Phase with COVID 19 still active in community settings. People are encouraged to return to sport and physical activity but strictly within public health guidelines. There are significant relaxations of the protocols but caution is still recommended. Competition in sport is not advised as it means higher intensity activity, more people involved in a particular event and an incentive for people to travel beyond the 20 km limit.

 

We understand your point that closed club competitions were included in protocols submitted some weeks ago. However, the Expert Group works on a Phase by Phase basis as the public health advice can change. Phase 2 was only considered on June 3 and it is understood that the public health emergency is an evolving situation with a high level of uncertainty from week to week. NGBs have to plan ahead but those plans are subject to change depending on Government approval and advice.”

 

The Unions then issued their statement to clubs confirming that competitions could not be played in Phase 2.

On the morning of Saturday, 6th June, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport issued a Press Release (See: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/c7327-return-to-sport-expert-group-recommends-further-steps-towards-phase-2-protocols/) confirming the decision of the Expert Group. The Press Release states:

“On this occasion, the Expert Group emphasized that the resumption of permitted sporting activity under phase 2 related to team sports training (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact. The focus is on team training, not on the playing of team games.

 

Accordingly, the Expert Group confirmed that training matches, friendlies, competitive fixtures or competitions in individual or team sport are not included under phase two; these will arise in later phases.”

 

The GUI and ILGU acknowledge the work of the Expert Group in the complex matter of  getting sport re-started in a safe manner and particularly, for the progressive approach the Group has taken in deciding that golf would be included from Phase 1. We will continue to work with the Group as we progress through the Roadmap.

The Unions welcome the easing of travel restrictions from 8th June, and their proposed elimination from Phase 3, which will allow increased access to golf courses and the potential for additional revenue generation from green fees.

Finally, we would like to commend our member clubs and golfers for the manner in which they have embraced Golf’s Protocol during Phase 1 and we welcome the fact that our game continues to provide an outlet to people in these challenging times.

Alan Kelly

Communications & Academy Manager

Golfing Union of Ireland

Potential Constitutional Difficulties during the Covid 19 Pandemic

As you will be well aware the current Covid-19 Pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for health, family, work, recreation and all aspects of normal living. These unprecedented challenges have affected every aspect of peoples lives and although we are beginning to see some easing of restrictions the future continues to remain uncertain in terms of a full return to normality. With this in mind and in anticipation of the normal Constitutional requirements for Annual General Meetings, Election of Officers etc. the Committee of Management is mindful of how current circumstances could impact the Clubs ability to function properly and in line with the Club Constitution.

 

Questions that arise for immediate consideration include the following:-

 

  • The ability to hold an AGM/SGM with current social distancing restrictions in place
  • The ability to conduct business, including amending the Club Constitution, to deal with issues that arise as a result of occurrences such as Covid -19

 

In that regard it is been agreed by the Committee of Management that a Special General Meeting would be required to deal with such emerging issues and in that event, I will keep you promptly informed of developments as they arise.

Yours faithfully

Terry O’Neill

Honorary Secretary

Joint Captains’ Charity Raffle – Extended until we are all back playing

Due to the phased return to golf

we have decided to extend the Captains’ Charity Raffle until the distance restrictions have been lifted and we have all had a chance to return to playing golf.  To those who have already purchased their ticket, thank you for your patience.

As part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, …

Captains Austin and Trudy have agreed to offer a 2021 subscription as part of their Joint Captains’ Charity Raffle.

In a time when fundraising income is difficult to maintain for all charities, we will donate 30% of the money raised by this raffle to the Skerries Branch of the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul.

The 2020 Raffle will have a top prize of €1,000.

Our target is a minimum of 250 ticket sales at €40.  It is open to Members and Non-Members alike.  The winner can either take a prize of €1,000 or, if a Club Member, offset it against the subscription portion of their 2021 membership fee.

In order to purchase a ticket Members should open the timesheet (in the usual way) for 2nd August and enter their name in a space as for a club competition.  To enter the draw more than once, do so by booking in a guest on the same line.

Members should ensure they have enough money on their card to pay for their entry.  As a Member, you can put money on your card (as per the email that issued to all members on 23rd April) by using the Club V1 App.  Alternatively, you can ring the office on Monday’s or Thursdays to have money put on your card or email admin@skerriesgolfclub.ieand the office will call you back.

Non-Members should enter via this link:   https://www.brsgolf.com/skerries/opens_home.php  

Conditions for Phase 1 Re-opening on May 18th 2020

We are all, looking forward to the return of golf, it seems like such a long time since we were on our fairways. Our course is looking fantastic and while we all want to get on the time sheet and start playing again, we do need to do so with caution.

 

The GUI and ILGU in conjunction with the Government have agreed on a set of protocols to be put in place for Golf Clubs to re-open in the first phase of easing of the Covid 19 restrictions.

There are very clear guidelines and a roadmap to be followed, it is in your interest to read these and become familiar with them by means of protecting yourself and others from this harmful virus.

See the links below.

1) Protocol for the re-introduction of golf in the Republic of Ireland

https://www.golfnet.ie/news/golfnet/4661/unions-publish-protocol-for-golfs-safe-return

2) Frequently asked questions

 

As Skerries Golf Club must sign to commit to the conditions of Golf   Re-opening we ask all members to abide by the GUI, ILGU and Government recommendations along with our own conditions below.

 

 

Time Sheets will open Tomorrow Thursday May 14th @ 4 pm.

 

 

Time Sheets Booking

  • Pre-booking your tee time in advance is compulsory, either on-line using the BRS system or by phone is essential, you cannot go on the course unless you have booked a tee time, even if it is just one person practicing on their own. This is to facilitate Covid Contact Tracing if required.
  • Time sheets will commence as follows Front 9 at 8.00 am until 7.30 pm, Back 9 from 10 am until 7.30 pm. The Back 9 tee time is starting later to facilitate course work.
  • Restrictions for Junior member bookings are detailed in the Junior Section blow.
  • For us to control contact tracing, no golf will be allowed on the course, before or after the available tee times on the time sheet.
  • Members playing golf without having a booking or playing before or after the allocated tee times on the booking sheet, may face a disciplinary process.
  • Maximum number of players per line is 3, with 14-minute intervals.
  • Start times must be adhered to, do not tee off before you allotted time.
  • Until June 8th members will only be allowed to play a maximum of 9 holes Singles Stableford casual golf on any day, there will be no defined members hour, Ladies Day, or Men’s only day.
  • Both the 1st and 10th tee will be in operation, do not arrive to the tee box until 5 minutes before your allocated tee time.
  • You must report to the Club Professional prior to entering onto the course.

 

Juniors.

  • Until PHASE 2 (June 8th) Junior members Must play with an Adult Member (an Adult Member is anyone currently paying an Intermediate, 5 Day, Full member, and Lady Associate Member fee).
  • Junior members playing with an Adult can only book on the Font 9 between 8am to 10am on Monday’s, Thursday, and Friday. The front 9 and back 9 are reserved for members outside these times.
  • The Back 9 on Monday, Thursday, and Sundays evenings from 5.40pm to 7.00 pm will be reserved for Adult members playing with Juniors/ Cadets i.e. Family Golf.
  • The same booking rules apply as above, names must be on the time sheet to be allowed play on the course.

 

 

Course

 

  • Putting Green, practice nets and practice ground will remain closed, until further notice.
  • Bunkers; as there will be no rakes in bunkers, you may lift your ball, rake the sand with your foot and place the ball back in the bunker and play your shot.
  • Pins are not to be removed from the hole.
  • On the course you are restricted to only using one golf ball, practice with additional balls is prohibited.
  • Divot bags, if you have your own divot bag please do bring it and use it to protect our fairways. We do have more bags ordered for members to buy as we cannot use communal bags at this time.

 

Subscriptions

  • Any Adult or Junior member that has not paid a subscription or engaged with the club regarding this year’s fees will be blocked from booking a time on the time sheet and from playing the course, as you will not be covered for insurance. Should you wish to make a payment, please contact the office or the Pro Shop.

 

 

All these conditions will be kept under constant review and may be changed as deemed necessary.

 

Committee of Management

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