COVID-19 Update – 30 July

David Tease
July 30, 2020

As new COVID-19 cases continue to appear across the State, Golf NSW is urging all players and clubs to be vigilant and maintain COVIDSafe practices to minimise the spread of the virus.

In addition, the Golf NSW COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) have been updated and include the following recommendations: 

  • Reintroduce or maintain COVIDSafe Temporary Local Rules
  • Do not allow caddies
  • Avoid shotgun starts


Should Clubs keep a record of those attending their course as well as their clubhouse as a part of their COVID Safe Plan?

It is recommended that clubs maintain a record of name and a mobile number or email address for all staff, volunteers, participants, spectators and contractors attending the club and also the course, where this is practical, for a period of at least 28 days. Ensure records are used only for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections and are stored confidentially and securely.

Should our Club still be enforcing modified playing conditions? 

While it remains a Club’s decision as to whether they continue the use of the modified playing conditions as a part of their COVID-19 Safety Plan e.g. flags left in, no rakes in bunkers, no swapping of scorecards etc., it is recommended these practices continue, to reduce the risk of transmission. Please click here for a full list of those modifications. 

Can we play competition golf? 

Yes. There are no conditions/restrictions which prevent competition golf if the Club can implement and enforce gathering and social distancing measures in line with regulations and the NSW Public Health Order. 
Clubs may also utilise two-tee starts if social distancing guidelines can be maintained.  

Can we play golf with a ‘shotgun’ start? 

Clubs should continue to minimise gathering opportunities wherever possible. As such, shotgun starts should be avoided unless gatherings of less than 20 people can be achieved. 

Clubs also need to consider how to manage the number of golfers, both at registration prior to, and around the clubhouse after the competition.

 Can we play golf with caddies? 

It is recommended caddies not be allowed. If Clubs decide to allow caddies, they should: 

  • Maintain social distancing practices 
  • Maintain good hygiene 
  • Allow players to remove their own clubs from their bag 

Can two players ride in the same golf cart?

Yes. With the State Government’s reintroduction of community sport for adults and children (including contact sport) from July 1, players can share golf carts.
Clubs may consider recommending one player be responsible for the driving duties for the entire round and the passenger remain on the passenger’s side of the cart.

Can we play golf in groups of four? 

Yes. Under current outdoor gathering limits, golf in groups of four is allowed. While additional care needs to be taken to maintain social distancing, golf is also permissible in groups of greater than four and up to twenty should this be required. For example, groups of six for foursomes.

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 which allows players to substitute the golf ball during the play of a hole, so 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 which are introduced should not be to the detriment of pace of play.

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 as to what extent practice facilities are made available to members and social golfers.

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

Yes. There are no conditions/restrictions to prevent a golfer from 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 with a maximum of 20 people are permitted.

Can the clubhouse serve food and drinks to members? 

Yes. Clubs are permitted to serve food and drinks (including alcohol) in designated dining areas, to be consumed while seated. 
The maximum capacity for each venue is 1 person for every 4 square metres. 
For specific information from Clubs NSW, please click on the following link:

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

Must a Club have a COVID-19 Safety Plan? 

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. 
The total number of inspectors now exceeds 250. 
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 arrangements inside the Club are compliant with the Public Health Orders.
Guidance on the COVID-19 safety requirements can be found in ClubsNSW’s circulars, including Circulars 20-123 and 20-124. 

All Registered Clubs must register as a COVIDSafe Business:

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

Yes. Clubs can hold an AGM if the maximum number of attendees is based on the one person per 4 square metre regulations. Alternatively, meetings can be held remotely or virtually via video conference. 
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? 

Yes. Clubs can conduct board meetings (to a maximum of 20 people) as long as the one person per 4 square metre regulations are adhered to.

Can Club volunteer working bees still go ahead? 

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

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