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Clubhouses close but golf courses remain open through Coronavirus crisis

Clubhouses close but golf courses remain open through Coronavirus crisis
March 28, 2020

While Federal and state Government restrictions to enforce social-distancing to reduce the impact of Coronavirus outbreak has seen the closure of clubhouses across Australia, most of the country's golf courses currently remain open for play.

The national governing body, Golf Australia, has been in regular contact with the Federal Government over current restriction then providing assistance and guidance to clubs and golf facilities across the country.

Social-distancing regulations imposed by the Federal Government saw clubhouses closed from midday on Monday 23rd March but most courses have since remained open for play.

As of Wednesday (25th March) golf courses in Queensland were closed under lockdown guidelines in relation to licenced premises.

However, Golf Australia subsequently received verbal confirmation from Queensland Chief Health Officer, Janette Young, that golf clubs in the state could operate from Thursday (26th March) in accordance with approved measures relating to outdoor gatherings. This includes but is not limited to having groups less than 10 people and maintaining appropriate social-distancing of 1.5 metres.

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. Pro shops can be used but people must not congregate in this area.

As of 3pm on 25th March, Golf Australia’s advice from the office of the Federal Sports Minister was golf could 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.”

In South Australia, the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing and the Office of Liquor and Gaming advised clubs should be operating on a members-only basis.

Despite being giving the green light to golfers to play, some clubs have chosen to close their course as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Ballarat Golf Club, in Victoria, has closed its course after seeking legal advice.

In statement released on Facebook, Ballarat General Manager, Gary Fry advised “the club celebrates its 125th year this year. We want to see it continue for at least another 125 years and with as many of our current members, staff and guests able to enjoy it for as long as possible.

“We don’t want to risk the health and well-being of these stakeholders, the course or our great club.” 

Image courtesy of Mona Vale Golf Club/Facebook.

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