Golfers return to the fairways in the ROI at long last

Play your part signage in Balbriggan Golf Club, Balbriggan, Dublin, Ireland. 26/04/2021 Picture: Golffile | Fran Caffrey

For the first time since closing their gates in late 2020, Monday marked the occasion when all golf clubs across the island could reopen their fairways. 

Golf resumed in Northern Ireland earlier this month but as the latest Irish Government’s easing of restrictionstookeffect, all 382 golf clubs affiliated to Golf Ireland have now welcomed members back to play. 

Golfers flocked to the course this morning with the early risers taking advantage of the sunny spring conditions. First to the tee at Co. Louth Golf Club were friends, Darren Bohill and Padraic Smith, who began their round at 7.30am before heading home to work.  


“I missed the general camaraderie, the social element of playing golf,” said Smith. “My dogs have had enough walks for a while so it’s nice to carry the clubs around instead. The place is in fantastic condition and I’d say all the courses around the country are the same, they’ve had a good rest, it was really great to get out again.” 

Mia Quinn, also from Co. Louth Golf Club was equally excited for the return. 

“I missed the interaction with my pals, the camaraderie of your friends and the sport itself, getting out and hitting that golf ball. I just love it out here, out on the golf course where nobody can get near you, it’s just heaven, my place of peace! We’ve had the most beautiful morning here, the sun is shining and I’ve no expectations so I’m just looking forward to getting out on the golf course.”

Father and son duo Patrick and Jake Moran spoke about the idea of just being out again, taking the good shots with the bad, and getting one step closer to a return to normal life. 

“It’s just the relaxation of it, and being able to get out and about and return to some kind of normality. It kind of represents normality to a certain extent and that life is starting to get going again.”

Monday is the first step in the journey to the resumption of full activity and while Governmenttravel and household restrictions apply initially,golfers welcome the fact that the sport is one of the first activities which has been allowed to resumeunder the ongoing Level 5 restrictions.    

As the sport’s governing body, Golf Ireland are prioritising members in the first phase of reopening, as was done in 2020. This is to be kept under review and an update to clubs will be shared when visitors and members’ guests will be permitted in later stages of reopening.  

All updates regarding Covid-19 and golf are available at 

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5 responses to “Golfers return to the fairways in the ROI at long last”

  1. Noel avatar

    The only members prioritised are those lucky enough (and fair play to them) to live in the same county as, or within 20k of their club. There are many members of clubs who do not. Golf Ireland fails to even mention these ‘other’ members, but instead seems to be looking for congratulations for opening the clubs. We all know golf is far safer than many other sports regarding the transmission of Covid 19, but yet the courses are only opening now when other sports (were the spread of Covid is a far greater risk) are starting team training at the same time. So in reality, Golf Ireland has failed miserably to promote the sport (and all the efforts golf clubs and members have made) as any safer than other sports.

  2. John Doody avatar
    John Doody

    I agree. Golf Ireland have done nothing to reopen golf in Ireland. Playing in 2 balls, not touching flagsticks, 15 or 8 minute gaps, not lifting balls out of holes, all while other sports pass one ball between players.
    Get a grip Golf Ireland.

  3. Barney avatar

    Absolutely – & it now transpires, that it is Golf Ireland themselves who have decided that members cannot play at a course other than their own-

    The clubs should decide themselves whether they want non-members to play. All clubs should be encouraged to allow non-members to play & share access to the fairways, where possible, and of course, within the distance limits. This decision brings into question the quality of Golf Ireland’s decision making.

    We have been prevented from playing for the longest time in the world, and Golf Ireland now decide to announce the cunning of their strategy in getting golf open again? Really?

  4. Jim Duggan avatar
    Jim Duggan

    As usual, Golf Ireland have disgraced themselves in this reopening by daring to dictate to the clubs when they can accept visitors. They have absolutely no power to do this as the law states anyone can play (two households only). Any club worth its salt will decide when they want to accept visitors after they have established the demand from their own members. Another reason to withhold your levy next year. Golf clubs are individual private entities and can decide for themselves. Golf Ireland is easily the most useless sports organisation in the country. Shame on you!

  5. GARY STEWART avatar

    Well said Jim and you others. GI have let us all down with their inaction

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