COVID-19: Restrictions to begin easing from Friday

The NSW State Government yesterday announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions around outdoor gatherings.

The change from a maximum of numbers two to ten persons will now allow the play of golf in groups of four from Friday, May 15, 2020.

NSW Government Restrictions – May 10

Please note that clubhouse closure (except for the service of takeaway food and beverage) and social distancing requirements remain in place.

Golf NSW recommends that 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.

COVID-19 Frequently asked Questions

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.

Can we play competition golf?

Yes. there is no condition/restriction that prevents the play of competition golf if the Club can implement and enforce gathering and social distancing measures in line with regulations and the NSW Public Health Order.  Consider playing stableford or par to reduce round times.  Avoid four person ambrose events that introduce increased opportunity to breach social distancing rules.

You may also utilise two tee starts if this can be achieved at your club whilst maintaining social distancing.  Avoid shotgun starts.

Can the clubhouse serve food and drinks to members?

Clubs are permitted to serve seated meals with table service beverages (including alcohol) up to a maximum of 10 persons at any one time as long as social distancing requirements are met.

 Golfers should not gather in groups to drink pre or post round unless they are being served food with beverages in a seated capacity at the club.

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

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 10) 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 both 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 NSW recommends that golf clubs should consider not allowing this practice as there are several potential issues that could arise. These include:

  • Increased difficulty for a Club in policing their cart policy
  • Increase likelihood of community reports to law enforcement for social distancing breaches by the Club
  • Creating confusion amongst the membership on the Club’s cart policy
  • An increased chance of negative media reporting, including social media

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

Yes. there are no conditions/restriction that prevent a golfer having a lesson if the Club/Professional can implement and enforce gathering and social distancing measures in line with regulations and the NSW Public Health Order. Outdoor group lessons of a maximum of 10 persons is permissible.

Do we have to open our Golf course now that the Office of Sport – NSW Government has approved the playing of golf?

No. It is not compulsory for golf courses to open. The opening of your course/pro shop is your Club’s decision. 

A club which feels they cannot provide a safe environment for members, staff, public, and/or cannot implement and enforce gathering and social distancing measures in line with regulations and the NSW Public Health Order should strongly consider not re-opening. 

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 31 December 2019 financial year end will have till 31 July 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.

Am I entitled to a membership fee discount at my Club?

Any matter pertaining to a membership discount fee is a matter between the member and their Club.

Will Golf NSW be discounting affiliation fees for clubs?

Golf NSW will make a decision regarding affiliation fees once:

  • The exact financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Clubs can be ascertained
  • The extent and impact of Federal and State Government financial stimulus initiatives on Clubs has been determined

Can Club volunteer working bees still go ahead?

Golf NSW recommends to Clubs that course works from volunteers/Dad’s Army style working bees cease temporarily under the current NSW Public Health Order and Government guidelines unless it is an emergency and absolutely essential.

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