Clonmel Golf Club at Lyreanearla, Co. Waterford
This weekend, as the sunshine finally breaks through in Spring-like fashion, golfers can only now look out and dream of a round of 18 holes in short sleeves.
Horrible weather conditions in the early weeks of the year was followed by one weekend storm after another leaving golfers few opportunities to play during the months of January and February.
And then the Covid-19 pandemic arrived on our shores which closed down all contact sport in the country, but seemed, due to the nature of the game, to allow golf the opportunity to continue in a restricted manner.
Now however, following the recent announcement by the Government in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, the GUI and ILGU recommend that all golf clubs, practice facilities and courses across the island close with immediate effect until April 19th 2020.
While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message is clear. People must stay at home to help to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Unions recognise the need clubs may have for business support at this time. We will monitor options available and engage with the relevant sporting bodies in due course to make representations for our member clubs.
We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the respective Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so.
For security and essential maintenance purposes, greenkeeping staff can still attend work. All work must be carried out in strict accordance with government guidelines on physical (social) distancing. Clubs should divide course staff into two teams where possible and if one becomes unavailable, the other team will still be okay to work.
You will appreciate that this is a very fluid situation with new developments almost daily. We will continue to liaise with the appropriate authorities, and will ensure that our clubs are kept informed as to recommended best practice at all times.