Golf Australia and the GMA have released the following statement regarding COVID-19

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As you are aware, COVID-19 or the Coronavirus as it is more commonly known has created global health concerns regarding the disease and its infection rates.

Golf Australia is writing to provide further assistance and guidance to our clubs and facilities on this important topic.

Please note, all information communicated by Golf Australia to date will be located on our website at https://www.golf.org.au/covid-19/. Our communications moving forward will contain only new information and updates.

It is Golf Australia’s recommendation to clubs and facilities that advice from the Australian Government’s Department of Health should be monitored closely over the coming days and weeks, as well as the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website. Advice may change from day to day.

Please note, Golf Australia remains fully operational for all of your clubs and facilities support, rules and handicapping and competition management requirements. For contact details of each departmental area, please visit https://www.golf.org.au/contactus/.

Considering the recent announcements, Clubs that are permitted to operate should be doing all they can to protect the privilege of being able to play our sport during these challenging times. Clubs should be actively discouraging the congregating of players and not drawing any undue attention to their hospitality offerings.

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Clubhouse & Golf Operations:

UPDATE: March 25

  • 25/3, GA has received advice from the office of the Federal Sports Minister that golf can continue to be played while adhering to strict social distancing measures as announced by the Federal Government, and in conjunction with state/territory licensing laws
  • 25/3, Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young that approved that Queensland Golf Clubs can operate on their Golf Courses. More information in the Queensland section below.

 

On Sunday, March 22 the Australian Government announced a closure – from midday, Monday, March 23 – of all pubs, licenced clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes (dining in), cinemas, casinos, places of worship gyms and indoor sporting venues.

Any further advice received by Golf Australia will be communicated to clubs and facilities immediately. We acknowledge that industry advisory bodies are updating registered clubs and we are aware of this advice. Golf Australia’s advice is based on communications with government and we will continue to liaise with government on all matters over the coming hours and days.

The closure of licensed venues has affected the operations of Clubs in each state differently. Please read the advice that affects your Club.

In addition to the below, you should continue to review your operational plans. Practical examples of this include:

  • Removing ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Two-Tee’ Starts to reduce peak service loads across the course
  • Creating larger gaps in between groups on the tee sheet
  • Reducing or cancelling club competitions with a heightened focus on social play
  • Review the need for the ‘Pro-Shop’ to operate, or operate on a reduced capacity.

Queensland

25/3: Golf Australia has tonight received verbal confirmation from QLD Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young that she has approved that Queensland Golf Clubs can operate on their Golf Courses from tomorrow in accordance with National Cabinets approved measures relating to outdoor gatherings which includes but is not limited to having groups less than 10 people and maintaining a 1.5m spacing.

The sale of alcohol is not allowed but the sale of take away food is allowed as long as people do not congregate around these areas and as a result of the food being sold. Pro shops can be used but people must not congregate in this area. Formal advice with specifications will be provided to all QLD Golf Clubs and facilities tomorrow via email and via the Golf Australia website: https://www.golf.org.au/covid-19


South Australia

The advice for SA comes out of the Office of Rec, Sport & Racing and the Office of Liquor & Gaming through Clubs SA:

The playing of golf can continue provided the social distancing measures are in place. All clubhouses should be immediately closed, with no food or beverage service taking place, in the clubhouse or on the course.


Tasmania

The advice for Tasmania comes from the Tasmanian Hospitality Association:

The playing of golf can continue provided the social distancing measures are in place. All licensed clubhouses should be immediately closed, with no food or beverage service taking place. Take away style food and non-alcoholic beverage can be sold out of the proshop.


Western Australia

The advice for WA comes directly from Clubs WA:

The playing of golf can continue provided the social distancing measures are in place. All licensed clubhouses should be immediately closed, with no food or beverage service taking place. Take away style food and non-alcoholic beverage can be sold out of the proshop, halfway hut or catering cart. Clubs should not provide any seated areas.

It is important that golf clubs and facilities adhere to these restrictions to ensure golf can continue to be played and is not seen as flouting the restrictions in place for other businesses.


New South Wales

The information for NSW comes from Golf NSW:

While your clubhouse operations must be closed for normal business, golfing activities can and should continue. Of course, golfers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene and adhere to social distancing guidelines, as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments.


Victoria

The Victorian advice has been sourced from Sport, Recreation & Racing Victoria .

Sport, Recreation and Racing Victoria’s advice is that golf courses can continue to operate at this time. Your Clubhouse must be closed at this time.


Northern Territory

The Northern Territory advice has been sourced from Licensing NT .

Licensing NT have provided additional direction stating that your course can remain open, however all bar areas and outdoor drinking areas for members and guests must be closed. You can, however, continue to sell takeaway liquor to members with the Clubhouse closed for any other purpose.


Member, Guest and Staff health advice

Golf clubs and facilities are often heavily trafficked, and there is a chance that a member, guest or member of your staff will be exposed to, or test positive to, COVID-19.

It is vitally important that if a member, guest or staff member tests positive to COVID-19, they must inform the club/facility as soon as possible. If this has occurred, anyone testing positive will be contacted by the State/Territory Department of Health in relation to contact tracing. You should then take advice on ongoing facility operations from your State/Territory Department of Health

It will continue to be important for club Boards and management to review contingencies to plan stages ahead for club operations should public information change.

Practices across your facility should display a heightened regard for the sanitation of surfaces, of which your cleaning chemical provider will be able to provide guidance on.

Staff and volunteers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments.

Golf Australia has collated a range of proactive actions that Clubs have implemented across the country. This list can be found on Golf Australia’s website, on the dedicated COVID-19 page, golf.org.au/covid-19 and will be updated from time to time.

If Clubs would like to share what they are doing in their facility, they can send these stories to clubsupport@golf.org.au.


Industrial Relations advice:

For specific Industrial Relations advice, please contact the licenced venue peak body or business advisory organisation in your state:

  • Community Clubs Victoria
  • Clubs SA
  • ClubsNSW
  • Clubs WA
  • Clubs QLD
  • Clubs NT
  • Tasmanian Hospitality Association

If your Golf Club or Facility is not a member and requires advice, please contact Golf Australia Club Support on clubsupport@golf.org.au.


Golf Australia – staff update:

All Golf Australia staff are currently working from home, however we remain fully operational as a business.

We will still be contactable via regular means such as phone and e-mail, and our reception phone will be diverted to ensure all incoming calls are answered.

As previously noted, the virus and potential implications are changing constantly and we will continue to monitor accordingly, and provide updates to clubs and facilities as regularly as required, or alternatively when additional Federal Government updates are announced.

For further information from the Federal Government on COVID-19, the Coronavirus Health Information Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.

If you require additional information or have questions please do not hesitate to contact Golf Australia on (03) 9626 5000 or clubsupport@golf.org.au.

About Richard Fellner

Winner of multiple Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism and Best Column, Inside Golf Group Editor Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic, having played the game for over 50 years (but has never gotten any better!) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Writers Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and he is a regular guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others. Follow Richard Fellner on Quora

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