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An update to Wales Golf and Golf Industry Guidelines

Following the First Minister’s announcement on 14th July 2021, Wales will be moving fully into Alert Level 1 COVID-19 restrictions and will also take its first steps into Alert Level Zero from Saturday 17th July. We, therefore, are now in a position to ease the Wales Golf guidance for clubs in Wales.

Please note, clubs MUST conduct a thorough risk assessment when implementing any changes (see below), and should consult with their health & safety advisor and insurance provider when making any changes.

The following changes will be made from Saturday 17th July:

  • Scoring in Stroke Play (Rule 3.3b) – the provisions of Rule 3.3b apply where the player’s score is kept on his or her scorecard by a marker. Certification of the scorecard by the marker and by the player should occur, as per the guidelines of Rule 3.3b(2).
  • Flagsticks – There will no longer be a requirement to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times.
  • Hole, and Definition of Holed – Coronavirus related changes to the definition of a hole and when the ball is holed are now removed.
  • Rakes – Preferred lies in bunkers will no longer be permissible, and bunkers should no longer be made ground under repair, so it is recommended that rakes are returned to the course.
  • On-Course Furnishings – Course furnishings such as ball washers, benches, bins etc. can be in use on the course.
  • Social Distancing – The regulations will no longer give particular prominence to 2 metre physical distancing outdoors.

Shared use of buggies
The current advice from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales is that the regulations will no longer give particular prominence to 2-metre physical distancing (outdoors only) at Alert Level Zero.

If club’s wish to allow shared buggy use, a risk assessment process will need to take place. Mitigating circumstances could include a Perspex screen, and/or driver and passenger remaining in the same place throughout the round of golf. All buggies should be thoroughly sanitised before and after each use.  

Additions to your current Risk Assessment
Touching items such as flagsticks and rakes can increase the risk of transmitting the virus unless the decontamination processes are adhered to rigorously.  Therefore, clubs should provide regular hand sanitiser stations on the golf course, and golfers should be reminded to bring their own hand sanitiser.

Clubs should also provide guidance to golfers, including that before touching on course items, any gloves should be removed and hands should be sanitised. After touching an on-course item, hands should be sanitised again.  In addition, the items should be cleaned regularly.

If the public health situation allows, Wales will move fully into an Alert Level Zero from 7 August. Further details including the update Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert Level Zero can be found here.

Full Welsh Government update can be read here.

Review of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restriction) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (14 July 2021)