COVID -19 UPDATE: Latest & FAQ’s

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and due to the risks associated with an increasing number of venues and transmissions which have occurred, the strict stay-at-home order has been extended to ALL of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.  For 7 days from 5pm August 5, the Greater Sydney restrictions also apply to the LGA’s of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Cessnock, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook.

In Greater Sydney, from 5.00 pm Friday, July 9th 2021, until 11.59 pm, Friday, August 27th 2021, people will only be able to leave home for one of the following four reasons:

    • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
    • Medical care or compassionate needs
    • Exercise outdoors in groups of a maximum of two (unless players are from the same household) within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR if outside your LGA it must be within 10km of where you live*)
    • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home
 

(*Additional restrictions also apply to residents of Cumberland, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta, Georges River and Fairfield LGA’s.) 


People from the eight identified LGA’s above may only travel up to 5kms from their home and must wear a mask at all times when outside the home.
 
While clubhouse operations in the aforementioned areas must be closed for normal business (except takeaway, home delivery or ‘click and collect’), Golf NSW has been advised that golf is considered exercise and can continue if your Club has and complies with its COVID-19 Safety Plan.  

Golf Shops may provide services to enable the play of golf for exercise, but must cease other retail functions (unless click and collect, take away or home delivery).

Golfers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene and adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions:

In Greater Sydney Golf NSW advises clubs to ensure competitions are conducted in groups of no more than TWO players per group (unless they are from the same household) and only under the club’s  COVID-safe plan. You must remain within your own Local Government Area (LGA) OR if you are travelling outside your LGA it must be within 10km of where you live.  (Those in the eight identified LGA’s may only travel up to 5kms from their home and must wear a mask at all times when outside the home)

Until advised otherwise competition can still take place in groups of four outside of the Greater Sydney area.

Under the Public Health order (PHO), undertaking exercise and outdoor recreation activities, including golf, is considered a reasonable excuse to leave your home.  

On July 1st, the NSW Health Minister Mr Brad Hazzard MP signed an exemption to the PHO allowing clubs to run their regular competitions under strictly controlled guidelines.

A signed copy of the exemption granted and guidelines is available HERE:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Documents/exemption-outdoor-golfing.pdf

Within the current Public Health Order (and considering that golfing is considered exercise) there is no further information specifying PGA Professionals cannot coach, however individuals need to make their own determination as to the appropriateness of offering these services.   

Any PGA members offering these services must adhere to the Public Health Order in relation to gathering and geographic limits for exercise and have a COVID-safe plan in place.

No.

Under the Current Public Health Order, you are NOT permitted to travel into the Greater Sydney Area to play golf.

A Club may invoke its own visitor restrictions in line with its bylaws and the Registered Clubs Act, however, Clubs are permitted to allow visitors in line with the Club’s COVID Safe Plan.

In Greater Sydney, persons may only exercise within the boundaries of their LGA or within 10km of their place of residence.  Those in the 8 identified LGA’s may only travel up to 5kms from their home and must wear a mask at all times when outside the home). Persons may not exercise within Greater Sydney if they reside or work outside Greater Sydney.

Clubs should not hold Vardon, Jean Derrin or similar events which encourage travel from outside their local area.

Clubs in Greater Sydney must not hold presentations. 

Regional Clubs should consider taking a pro-active stance on minimising the risk of community transmitted COVID-19, and therefore question the need to have presentations at all.

Yes.  As of January 1, the NSW Government requires that all hospitality venues use the NSW Government QR Code system:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/customer-record-keeping/qr-codes#covid-safe-check-in-with-the-service-nsw-app.

It is recommended that registration be required on entry to the clubhouse, and other areas such as the Pro Shop.

Within Greater Sydney, Golf NSW advises that clubs should adopt a one player per cart rule until further notice.


In regional NSW players can share golf carts.  However, when sharing carts players should consider wearing a mask as they are unable to social distance. 

Clubs may also consider recommending that one player be responsible for the driving duties for the entire round and that the passenger remains on the passenger’s side of the cart. 

Golf NSW recommends the re-introduction of modified local rules in NSW.

This applies across Greater Sydney and regional NSW until further notice.

The use of the modified playing conditions should be included as a part of a Club’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, e.g., flags left in, no rakes in bunkers, no swapping of scorecards etc.

Please click here for a full list of those modifications.

NO.

Golf NSW recommends not allowing gatherings of any kind until the current COVID crisis eases.

In Regional Areas, clubs should consider the need for a shotgun start.  If a small shotgun start was to be held, then appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure adherence to the Club’s COVID Safe Plan.

With the introduction of the two-person per group rule, Caddies can no longer be used in Greater Sydney.

In regional NSW, If Clubs decide to allow caddies, they should suggest caddies act primarily as advice-givers and buggy pullers.

Clubs should consider:

  • Allowing players to remove their own clubs from their bag
  • Requesting players clean their own balls & equipment

In Greater Sydney Golf NSW recommends clubs remove or restrict access to these type of club amenities until the current COVID situation eases.

In Regional NSW, as a part of the Club’s COVID Safe Plan, Clubs may allow players to access ball washers and bubblers, although it suggested that this be done with a towel or glove on the player’s hand, and that players use the bubbler to fill up their own water bottles.

Clubs in Greater Sydney should remove access to ball washers, showers and bubblers during the lockdown period.

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, so that players are not touching each other’s golf ball. For example, during Foursomes:

  • 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.

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

Players must avoid gathering in any area and must leave the premises immediately after playing.

Yes. Clubs are permitted to serve food and drinks (including alcohol) in designated dining areas.

In Regional NSW the maximum capacity for each venue is one person for every 4 square metres indoors, and outdoors.

In Greater Sydney, Clubs may only offer take away food and beverage.

For specific information from Clubs NSW, please click on the following link:

 https://www.clubsnsw.com.au/COVID-19_Updates

Yes.  In addition to Liquor & Gaming NSW, officers from the NSW Food Authority, NSW Fair Trading, SafeWork NSW, local councils and the NSW Police Force may now inspect Clubs’ compliance with the Public Health Orders.

Upon the request of an inspector, Clubs must make available their COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Member Clubs are encouraged to proactively engage with their inspectors, and local police, to ensure that arrangements inside the Club are compliant with the Public Health Orders.

All Registered Clubs must register as a COVID Safe Business, and Clubs are required to resubmit their COVID-19 Safety Plan each time there is a change/amendment to the Public Health Order.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/register-your-business-as-covid-safe

In NSW, masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events.

This includes Pro Shops and Take Away food areas at Clubs.

When you leave home, you must carry a face mask with you at all times. You must wear a face mask when you are outside in a public area (such as on a street or at a park).

In relation to face masks, according to the NSW Government advice, engaging in strenuous exercise is still an allowable reason to remove a face mask across Greater Sydney. Note that golf can be considered strenuous exercise, and as such, the wearing of masks is not required during play. 

The same guidelines for the wearing of masks, apply to the eight local government areas of concern (including Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta). 

  • Players are required to wear a mask upon arrival at the golf course
  • Players are able to remove their masks when engaging in strenuous exercise
  • Following the completion of their round, players are required to put their masks back on as soon as possible prior to leaving the venue

    Note that everyone’s circumstances are different, and people will need to make their own decisions to determine if the activity is considered strenuous exercise.

 

Info on general restrictions can be found at the following link:

Current info on the exemption to the Public Health Order allowing competition golf in Greater Sydney

Click on the link below for more information from the Office of Sport:

A copy of the NSW Department of Health Public Health Order (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) is HERE:

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