PGA in Ireland pushing hard for golf’s safe return

A view from tee to green of the challenge posed by the 16th at Royal Portrush, aptly named, Calamity. By Kevin Markham

The PGA in Ireland insists they have “been working tirelessly to campaign for the safe return of golf” having made a strong case to the Irish Government as to why the sport should be one of the first activities to resume once restrictions ease.

The Association are now encouraging PGA members in the Republic of Ireland to email their local representatives to do the same, detailing how golf can operate safely and has procedures already in place to do so. With roadmaps soon to be released in conjunction with Ireland’s living with Covid plan, the PGA is adamant that golf should be considered amongst the safest pursuits as we move away from level 5 lockdown.

“In the coming weeks there will be a number of announcements concerning ‘road maps’ for the Republic of Ireland to come out of current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions,” Robert Maxfield, PGA Chief Executive wrote to all PGA members in Ireland.


“We are therefore encouraging PGA Members in the Republic of Ireland, as well as members of the Business Management Group and Club Volunteer by PGA groups, to email their local representative explaining that golf can operate safely and has many procedures already in place. We need your support to get the message across that golf is Covid safe and provides a huge number of health benefits.”

Amongst the arguments put to Government around golf’s safe return is how the sport naturally lends itself to social distancing compared to the crowded public spaces people are currently being forced into given the 5km travel restriction. Golf courses have already implemented procedures to make it safer than ever with no rakes in the bunkers, no touching of flags, online booking systems and well-spaced tee-sheets all making it one of the few Covid safe pursuits.

By no means are the PGA downplaying the extent of the virus, rather they are suggesting that if the Government’s living with Covid plan is to reflect the name with which they gave it, then people deserve a chance to prove themselves capable of doing just that in a safe environment, and golf has already proved itself in this regard.

“The PGA has written to An Taoiseach, sharing a COVID-19 Secure Golf scientific paper, prepared by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf (APPGG),” added Maxfield. “This paper outlines the many health benefits of playing golf, how the game has established COVID-19 secure practices and recently it has been updated with more compelling evidence from a range of experts.

“We would encourage you to share the COVID-19 Secure Golf scientific paper with your elected representative. Please rest assured we will continue to do all we can to make the case for golf and that our teams are on hand to provide support at this difficult time.”

If you have any COVID-19 questions, please contact your Regional Manager, your Business Relationship Officer, or call The PGA’s dedicated COVID-19 Helpline.

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13 responses to “PGA in Ireland pushing hard for golf’s safe return”

  1. Ivan Morris avatar
    Ivan Morris


  2. Tom avatar

    Your report refers to the pga in Ireland & their efforts with the Irish government. Am I correct to presume then that there is a separate pga for Northern Ireland & if so what efforts have they made to the Executive?

    1. Tony Gibbons avatar
      Tony Gibbons

      Tom the PGA in ireland represent tho whole island and the Northern executive will have received the same communications from them and from the PGA chief exec..please reach out to your local representatives as the article suggests as golf will likely re-open for us on a whole island basis ..

  3. Matthew Farrell avatar
    Matthew Farrell

    Is that golf Ireland or the professional golf association you are talking about

    1. Mr Ivan Genockey avatar
      Mr Ivan Genockey

      PGA is for professional golf

  4. Douglas Brown avatar
    Douglas Brown

    It’s a mental health issue. Many older players rely on their daily, bi weekly game etc., to meet and “socialise” even when we can’t actually be closer than 2 meters.
    This government has no plan to get us out of this other than repeated imposition of restrictions ad infinitum so next best thing is to be sensible and allow those outdoor activities that can be pursued safely with minimum contact. Golf is one of these.
    My friend undertook to travel to Thailand back in January. Yes he had a strict quarantine for 14 days to endure BUT minute he was released from his hotel, he entered a “normal” world where people can go to a restaurant, a bar, a golf course and socialise safely. Why? Because Thailand like many SEA countries closed the borders quickly and when they reopened it was strictly controlled who comes in with the 14 day quarantine imposed on all.

    We can only now dream of when we return to normal here in Europe so at least let us play golf, please!!? The alternative is when we are freed from incarceration many will go straight into mental institutions or have to undertake lengthy pyschological treatment. I wish that was a joke but it isn’t.

  5. Alan avatar

    I’m afraid the pga or golf Ireland haven’t been very good at persuading the executive of the physical/mental benefits of our safe outdoor game….. latest decision is to extend lockdown to April. Astounding.

  6. Terry. Moore avatar
    Terry. Moore

    Can’t wait for golf to resume safely I think it is one sport that is safe.i do appreciate the predicament the government is in but I think we can all play a part in keeping everyone safe.

  7. Christy Mcguirk avatar
    Christy Mcguirk

    Hello pga,,your a bit late with your representation of golfers and judging by your mealy mouthed words it looks like you will just do what the politicians tell you,now your trying to pass the buck to golfers by asking them to write to their local representatives while you wait for the easing of restrictions, wait been the operative word,and then claim it was your doing should we get back playing,,the silence from the PGA,golfing Ireland and sport Ireland have been deafening by their absence,

  8. Sean Cooke avatar

    No point in opening golf courses if 5 km rule still applies as apparently only 5% of golf club members live within 5 km of their clubs

  9. Oliver O Connor avatar

    I am a disabled golfer and the only form. Of exercise I have is playing golf I suffer from nerve damage and have to wear a large back support and sever PTSD and the only social interaction I have is my golf Club Baltinglass Golf Club the do everything possible to keep me safe the have a buggy ready for me when I arrive it has been sanatised and disinfected
    For me all the members know I have medical problems and the all respect them and keep their social distance the are like an extented Family to me I am lost without my golf and my social friends I have now been trapped in the house for seven weeks and it’s having a severely bad effect on my mental health and on my Marriage and step children which one has autism the government & TD, S dont understand what golf means to so many people over the age of 50 years and what it means to their mental health I have played with the oldest Member in my club Jim Higgins he 91 and we have a great social chat and a joke or two and he always asking me about the wife and kids it means so much to chat and gain knowledge
    So please think how much golf dose for the older generation we all social distance and we have a great respect for one another

  10. Nigel Frost avatar
    Nigel Frost

    Golf ireland have offered it’s members no support and little to no input to dealing with the length of shutdown in golf. My fear is for our over 65’s and the total isolation they are currently force to endure. We have the safest of all sports with strong club regulations in place to deal with covid. Could we at least open the clubs to the over 65’s as an outlet to help with their mental health. Just to point out I am under 65 and this is not a comment motivated by personal gain.

  11. Joe Kearney avatar
    Joe Kearney

    Lockdown is not a punishment but our government is using it as such. They need to use one of their committee’s to establish all activities that are safe like golf and get them open. Common sense required.

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