Dundalk Golf Club reopened on Monday with over 230 members availing of their first opportunity to play since March 27 when the government closed golf courses as part of the Covid-19 restrictions.
A co-ordinated plan has been put in place by the club to ensure golf is played in accordance with the protocol jointly issued by the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union.
Only members who have booked through the club’s tee-time reservation system are allowed on the course and a team of voluntary marshals are on duty to ensure that social distancing is observed.
Dundalk Golf Club’s Captain, Trevor Giff, and Lady Captain, Pauline Campbell, said they were delighted that golf is resuming after the lockdown and pleased to welcome members back to the course.
“We appreciate that we are one of the first sports to resume playing and we understand the responsibility that comes with this privilege,” said the Lady Captain.
“Members are being asked to follow the GUI and ILGU joint-protocol that has been put in place to protect both players and staff and also to follow the guidelines issued by the club.”
The Captain, Mr Giff, said that a lot of hard work had taken place to enable play to resume and he paid tribute to the club’s Head of Operations and his staff for completing essential maintenance during lockdown and ensuring that the course was in good shape, despite the lack of rain, when members returned.
“The course looks very well and has benefited from not having any golf played on it for over seven weeks. It will be casual golf for the first three weeks with competitions allowed to start in phase two,” he said.
Dundalk members are being restricted to nine holes for five of the opening seven days with an 18-hole option available on Wednesday and Saturday.
Not all Dundalk Golf Club members are getting the opportunity to return to play this week as many were outside the 5km travel radius permitted under the Government restrictions.
O’Sullivan said that they will be looking at ensuring this group gets its opportunity to play when the travel limit is extended to 20km on June 8.
“Because restrictions have been placed on who can and cannot play there are a large number of members who find themselves unable to play golf for the next three weeks. They understand why they cannot play and will receive priority when their opportunity comes in phase two of the government’s reopening roadmap,” said Head of Operations, John O’Sullivan.
One upside for Dundalk Golf Club has been the increased number of enquiries from people wanting to join the club and O’Sullivan said people are now seeing the many benefits of playing golf and belonging to one of the top clubs in the country.