The Golfing Union of Ireland’s planning for the resumption of competitions is continuing to gather speed ahead of 20th July, when the Ulster Under-14 and Under-16 Close Championship in Knock will mark the official start of the championship season.
Competitions will be initially run on a relatively small scale with limited numbers of competitors and competitions being confined to a single day, while championship golf commences in earnest from Monday 10th August with the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship in Thurles being played over three days.
The below measures and advice relate to all competition activity with the exception of home/away inter-club matches that are being organised between clubs. Separate guidance on the organisation of those matches has been issued and can be consulted here: https://www.golfnet.ie/SiteAssets/Guide%20to%20participation%20in%20Inter%20Club%20Matches%20v1.0.pdf.
Events to be held ‘Behind Closed Doors’ initially
A current Order of the Northern Ireland Executive requires sporting competitions, from the grassroots up, to be held behind closed doors until further notice. While the restrictions in the Republic of Ireland allow limited outdoor mass gatherings where social distancing is strictly enforced, the competition environment in amateur golf is un-ticketed, open and accessible and therefore challenging to regulate entry to – especially in higher-profile and well-attended events.
Therefore, it is initially intended that only those who are taking part in or assisting with the competition will attend. For clarity a full list of categories of permissible attendees can be found here:https://www.golfnet.ie/SiteAssets/Attendance%20Policy.pdf. This document will be reviewed on a weekly basis throughout the competition season and updates may be made in reviewing public health measures and/or specific event plans.
All permissible categories of attendees listed above are also requested to fill out an electronic attendance form. Specific players’ forms will be issued via email from the event organiser. The form for all other attendees is available to view here: https://form.jotform.com/201843651828055.
No formal presentations
Initially, there will be no formal prize presentations for competitions, but in some limited circumstances there may be an official photograph of trophy winners with social/physical distancing protocols in place.
Players should not arrive earlier than 30 minutes before tee time
In all circumstances players will be requested not to attend the site any earlier than 30 minutes before their tee time each day, with warm-up and practice facilities overseen to ensure social/physical distancing is maintained. Further instructions specific to each event will be issued on the duration players can remain on site after their round.
Electronic scoring via mobile phone and other contactless measures
Other measures which will be incorporated include players filling in scorecards electronically via their mobile phones in most categories of championships (the main exception being certain underage levels) and the distribution of local rules, hole locations and other player information by email in advance of the competition rather than hardcopy.
A suite of information and briefing resources have been prepared for players and deposited in a competition hub, which is available to view here: https://www.golfnet.ie/guilive#/competition/2523520/info. Players will also be required to electronically confirm their participation, which will include a self-assessment against the symptoms of COVID-19.
Revised regulations and reduced field sizes
A full set of revised regulations which take into consideration the additional safety measures required during the COVID-19 Pandemic are available to view here: https://www.golfnet.ie/SiteAssets/FIN%20-%20Terms%20of%20Championship%20Competitions.pdf. It should be noted that the size of fields have, in a number of cases, been reduced due to specific risk assessments regarding the competition.
The list of fixtures remains as previously issued on 29th June, and is available to view here: https://www.golfnet.ie/news/gui/4697/revised-championship-fixture-list-released-by-gui.
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