Unions publish protocol for golf’s safe return in Northern Ireland​


In the Northern Ireland Executive’s Step by Step Plan in so far as the relaxation of restrictions is concerned, Golf is listed as being in Step 1. We await confirmation from the Executive of an exact date when golf can re-commence, which will be using the protocol jointly published by the GUI and ILGU.

This Protocol is the basis on which the Unions and Golf Ireland sought the inclusion by the Executive of the resumption of golf in Step 1 of their plan.​

As one of the first sports to be allowed to resume, there is a major responsibility on golf clubs and golfers to ensure that our sport is conducted in a safe and responsible manner. Full adherence to the provisions of this Protocol is absolutely essential.


It should be noted that the Executive continues to monitor the situation closely and have not ruled out the reintroduction of restrictions which could see golf clubs closed once again, if the Protocol is not followed.

The Protocol is aligned to the five steps of the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery and sets out how the restrictions on golf will be eased over the coming months. As the Executive have chosen not to produce indicative dates for change in the steps of their plan, we reserve the right to add or subtract from any phase of the Protocol. The current version will always be available at www.golfnet.ie

Golf is in the very privileged position to be allowed to resume in the first step and this return has been based on the sport being able to demonstrate to government that it can take place in a safe, socially distant manner, which this Protocol achieves.

All clubs, golfers and staff have a shared responsibility to ensure the Protocol is adhered to. We ask that clubs pledge their commitment to implementing the protocol by signing up using the link provided in our email.

We are aware that there are several other unofficial guidelines in circulation. It should be emphasised that clubs and golfers must exclusively adhere to the Protocol as published by the GUI and ILGU to ensure that we can continue to enjoy our sport in the times ahead.

The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency remains our primary concern and overriding priority. The Unions acknowledge the tremendous efforts of all frontline workers which has allowed golf and society in general to consider this gradual return to normal life.

The Protocol is available for download from www.golfnet.ie 


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2 responses to “Unions publish protocol for golf’s safe return in Northern Ireland​”

  1. Robert Fallows avatar
    Robert Fallows

    It seems imminent that the Northern Executive are going to approve step 1 in their covid 19 road to recovery sometime on the 18th of May. This allows gatherings of 4 to 6 people not from the same house hold to meet, not from the same house hold, using social distancing. Why is the GUI restricting golfers to 3 ball maximum tee off times when foot fall would only be increase from 60 to 70 over 18 holes?

  2. John Law avatar
    John Law

    Why oh why is the GUI stating that green fee paying visitors can only begin playing in Step 3?! Seriously?!

    The NI Executive allows us in Step 1 to travel anywhere within Northern Ireland, the police will allow us to travel anywhere within Northern Ireland in Step 1 and yet the GUI states that only members of golf clubs can play golf in Step 1!!!!!

    The GUI are behaving without any regard whatsoever for lovers of golf who aren’t members, especially those of us who are frontline workers, working so hard during this pandemic, and would love a game of golf, abiding by social distance rules. Thanks a bunch GUI!

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