COVID-19 June 12 Update

David Tease
June 12, 2020

The NSW Government has recently announced another further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Currently, the main constraint on many NSW golf Clubs is the limitation of one person per motorised cart (except for family members residing together).

Whilst it is permissible for two people to ride in each cart in a number of other States, the latest advice from the State Government is that Clubs should prepare for the resumption of two players per cart in NSW from July 1, 2020.

Golf NSW is currently seeking NSW Government approval to allow this practice prior to July 1 and will keep clubs informed of any updates.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Can the clubhouse serve food and drinks to members?

Yes, clubs are permitted to serve food and drinks (including alcohol) in designated areas, to be consumed at the table.

 The maximum capacity for each dining area is 50 patrons, or, 1 person for every 4 square metres. For example, if the dining area is 160 square metres in size, the maximum number of seated patrons is 40, not 50. The lesser number prevails.

 Food and drinks can be served from the clubhouse in the form of ‘takeaway’ and consumed off the premises.

Can alcohol be purchased without a meal/food?

Yes. NSW Health has confirmed that the purchase and consumption of alcohol will not be ancillary to the purchase and consumption of food.

Can we play in groups of Four?

Yes. From Friday, May 15, under outdoor gathering limits the play of golf in groups of four is allowed. While additional care is needed to maintain social distancing, golf is also permissible in groups of greater than four and less than 20 should this be required, e.g. Foursomes being played in groups of six.

Can we play competitive golf?

Yes. There is no condition/or restriction which prevents the play of competition golf if the club can implement social distancing measures in line with the NSW Public Health Order.

You may also utilise two tee starts if social distancing can be maintained. Avoid shotgun starts unless these occur in smaller group sizes and gatherings of more than 20 can be avoided.

Can players swap balls during the play of a hole?

In addition to the other Temporary Modifications to the Rules of Golf, it is permissible to introduce a local rule that allows players to substitute the golf ball during the play of a hole in the play of events such as Foursomes, so that players are not touching each other’s golf ball.

For example:

  • When taking a preferred lie
  • When putting.

If this local rule is introduced, Clubs must not introduce a penalty for a player hitting their partner’s golf ball. Any local rules that are introduced should not be to the detriment of pace of play.

Should our Club still be enforcing modified playing conditions? 

Yes. Golf NSW recommends the Clubs continue to implement modified playing conditions that reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by contact, that is, flags left in, no rakes in bunkers, no swapping of scorecards etc. Please click here for a full list of those modifications. 

Can I use the course driving range and putting green to practice?

Yes. Provided gathering and social distancing measures are in line with regulations, and the NSW Public Health Order is implemented and enforced. 

A limit on the number of people allowed (a maximum of 20) on the practice putting green, or in the hitting bays at any one time should be communicated via signage and enforced at each location.

It is a club’s decision to what extent practice facilities are made available to members and social golfers.

Can two family members who live together ride in the same golf cart?

Recent advice from the NSW Health Minister has determined that two family members living together can share a golf cart.

Golf clubs should consider their own circumstances when determining whether they wish to allow this to occur.

Can two sets of clubs be carried in the same golf cart if one person walks?

Golf NSW now recommends that should Clubs allow this to occur that they reinforce that social distancing guidelines be followed throughout the round.

Can I get a lesson from the Professional at the club?

Yes. There are no restrictions which prevent a golfer from having a lesson if the Club Professional can implement social distancing measures in line with regulations and the NSW Public Health Order. 

Outdoor group lessons of a maximum of 20 persons are permissible.

Can the club hold an AGM under current COVID-19 restrictions?

Clubs can only hold an AGM under current Public Health Order restrictions relating to public gatherings, that is, remotely or virtually via video conference or the like.

ASIC has provided a two-month extension to the current five-month time limit to stage an AGM from the end of the club’s reporting period. For example, a Club with a December 31, 2019, financial year-end will have till July 31, 2020, to stage their AGM.

Can a club hold board meetings at the Club during COVID-19?

If a Club can conduct their board meetings remotely/virtually by video and or phone conference, they should do so. Clubs which must conduct a ‘face to face’ board meeting should check with their local law enforcement agency if this is permissible.

Can club volunteer working bees still go ahead?

Golf NSW recommends to Clubs that course works from volunteers/Dad’s Army style working bees may resume in groups of up to 20 provided social distancing guidelines are maintained.

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