Golf prepares to progress into next step of re-opening

Step 2 of the 'Protocol for the Safe Return of Golf' in Northern Ireland will commence on June 8

Golf prepares to progress into next step of re-opening

Social distancing will remain in place as golf progresses to Step 2.

By Damian Mullan


By Damian Mullan


STEP 2 of the 'Protocol for the Safe Return of Golf' in Northern Ireland will commence on June 8, it has been announced.

Under terms of the protocol, four-balls will be allowed at 12-minute intervals while competition golf will also be permitted.

All changes are subject to confirmation on Thursday June 4 from the First and Deputy First Minister of the changes to the Northern Ireland Executive’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan for the Safe Return of Society & Business.

In light of this, the GUI and ILGU have announced that the golf protocol will move to Step 2 from June 8.

"Golf’s Protocol in Step 2 has been relaxed slightly to permit clubs to include four-balls, at 12-minute intervals, on their timesheets," explained a GUI spokesperson.

"This phase will also see the re-introduction of competitive golf and all clubs have been issued guidance on running competitions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The task of administering competitions, performed by volunteer committee members, may be more labour intensive in the current circumstances.

"Golfers must be mindful, as a result, that additional time is likely to be required to finalise results and update handicaps.

"Outdoor group activities can also resume during this phase and the process of reintroducing junior activity to golf clubs is included in the updated protocol.

"The protocol, as agreed with government, sets out the basis on which golf can be played in a safe manner," added the spokesperson.

Golfers are expected to observe the underlying public health guidance, including travel restrictions, set out at: and https// These rules are subject to change and golfers are asked to check regularly for updates. 

"As we enter Step 2 of the phased re-introduction of golf, there remains a major responsibility on golf clubs and golfers to ensure that our sport is conducted safely and responsibly," continued the spokesperson.

"Full adherence to the provisions of this protocol is absolutely essential. Golf is in the very privileged position to have been allowed to resume at this stage and this return has been based on the sport being able to demonstrate to the Executive that it can take place in a safe, socially distant manner. 

"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."



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