You need to be informed.
The world is in the grip of a microscopic villain. Unfortunately at present there is no weapon capable of defeating this villain. Whilst the scientists work tirelessly to solve the problem we have to take every measure available to stay well and delay any onset of the virus as long as possible. There have been a considerable number of health department media releases covering these measures. They are well publicised and easy to understand. It is up to each and everyone of the public to abide by them. This requires us to change our day to day behaviours and it is a difficult thing to achieve.
Psychologists claim that the older a person, the harder it is for that person accept and make changes to an established process. Take the simple act of shaking hands. Something we have grown up with and is as natural as breathing. We have to change our behaviour in this respect and cease to shake hands. We have to work at changing our hygiene routines, at maintaining a suitable physical distance within a group. It is everyone's responsibility to look after everyone else.
We are all responsible for the wellbeing of ourselves and those with whom we interact. It is paramount that changes are accepted and enthusiastically practised. The club's management has been actively trying to keep out in front of the changing requirements, and to this end have published several Coronavius related bulletins. These bulletins are reproduced below. They are all written with the express intention of providing protection to our members, guests and staff.
I hope all our members are aware that someone is always available to take a call or answer an email. It is so very important that we stay in touch with our fellow club members as the necessity of the 'Isolation' procedures start to bite. In addition, it is vitally important that any member who has been diagnosed with, or been in contact with any person suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19 advise the club of the situation. The club will continue to monitor the situation and keep the members as advised as possible.
The following notice was emailed to all playing members this afternoon (Friday 20th March) and details the changes authorised and suggested by the R & A and endorsed by Golf Australia and NSW.
New Local Rules to Cater for Coronavirus Implications
These new local rules are to be implemented from 5am Saturday 21st March and will remain in force until such time that the Coronavirus no longer presents a danger to players.
These local rules are issued with the approval of Golf NSW under the guidelines provided them from the R & A.
Local Rule CV 1 – Scoring
- Players are to enter their own hole scores on the scorecard (it is not necessary for a marker to do it).
- It is not necessary to have a marker physically certify the players scores, but some form of verbal certification should take place within the group.
Local Rule CV 2 – Flagsticks
- Player are required to leave the Flagsticks in the hole at all times.
Local Rule CV 3 – Holing Out
- A ball at rest in the hole will be considered to be holed even if it is not entirely below the level of the hole.
Local Rule CV 4 – Bunkers
- Preferred Lies may be taken when the ball lies in a bunker through the general area.
In response to the R&A’s announcement, the Chairman of Golf Australia, Andrew Newbold, said: “The game of golf can offer a level of social engagement which will become increasingly important for many Australians. We want to do what we can to enable people to be provided with a recreational outlet, especially as concerns around mental and physical health will become more prominent. Golf Australia encourages every club to take advantage of this temporary flexibility that has been announced by the R&A, and to consider options which will ensure the Rules are not acting as a barrier to people getting out and enjoying the game.”
- Scores returned from competitions with any of the new Local Rules in effect must be processed through GOLF Link unless your club has been instructed otherwise by Golf Australia or your State Association.
- These Local Rule options are temporary and are related to Covid-19 concerns. They will be available to clubs until Golf Australia advises otherwise.
20 March 2020
The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented challenge. Countries all around the globe are implementing large scale procedures to assist in the management of the Coronavirus and to limit the incidence of Covid-19. Golf Australia and Golf NSW have issued their guidance, and we (the Board and Executive of BGC) have assessed the available information and determined the following course of action.
Our club membership (age) structure means that a great number of our members fall into a high-risk category. We as a club have a duty of care to provide the highest possible protection to both ourselves, other club members and our wonderful staff. We kindly request adherence to the following:
• Any club member (and club member’s guests) who has returned from an overseas trip in the past 2 weeks must put themselves under mandatory 14-day self-quarantine before attending the club premises.
• All attendees of the club utilise a high standard of personal hygiene and use hand sanitiser where available (bring your own if possible).
• Any attendee of the club who experiences cold or flu-like symptoms including sore throat, cough, fever, body aches and pains avoid the club entirely for 14 days.
• All attendees of the club refrain from shaking hands or kissing and attempt to maintain suitable personal separation from others.
• Food sharing, tea & coffee station will not be in use.
• There will be no golf presentations – results posted to the website only. • Shower facilities are available but please bring your own towel.
• Table seating will be spread throughout the club house.
The term ‘Club’ used above infers any and all areas of the BGC including the golf course and car parking.
Please note that the staff have been briefed to increase their routine cleaning processes including wiping down of door handles and surfaces where regular contact is made. This will occur several times during each day.
The ’Staged’ approach detailed below will potentially have a severe impact on the club and its employees, and hopefully we will be able to return to ’normal’ operations in the near future.
Golf Activities will continue as detailed below, as social distancing can be maintained and activity in the outdoor environment is considered to be a good option. Note the following considerations:
- Carry hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly during your round,
- Leave the Pin in the hole,
- Wear a glove and or use a towel to cover your hand when using a rake in bunkers,
- The NTP and Pro Pin competitions are suspended until further notice,
- Use hand sanitizer after in-putting your results into the computer,
- Use non-cash transaction options such as ‘Tap and Go’ or quote your member number to the staff,
- The post-golf Presentations will be suspended until further notice.
Bowral Golf Club – Coronavirus Management Plan
Stage 1: “Watch and Wait” and take necessary hygiene precautions as stipulated by Local and National Authorities. We have passed this stage and we are now implementing Stage 2 effective Tuesday 17th March.
Stage 2: Continue normal club activity however, gatherings of more than 30 people will not be permitted. This includes hospitality that accompanies the golf component of group events, Jazz, 1st Friday and charity events. This measure will be in force until 30th April but reviewed daily. All affected Members and guests will be contacted and advised of the decision. We also ask that Members please confirm that their guests have adhered to all widely advised precautions including overseas travel quarantining and any health concerns.
Stage 3: Close all bar & catering operations in the clubhouse. The office will be manned either on- site or remotely. Close the Clubhouse facilities but the toilets would be open. Allowing “golf only” access to Members with green-fee play being withheld indefinitely. This stage will be contemplated if a Member, staff or guest who has recently utilized our facility tests positive for the virus. The office will be manned as above.
Stage 4: Close both the pro shop and Clubhouse indefinitely. The golf course will remain available to members for non-competition play, members may need to retrieve their clubs from storage. This measure will only be undertaken on the advice of authorities who are continually updating the guidelines to be followed by all institutions, including businesses, schools, universities and profile sporting and social venues.
Stage 5: Cease all operations, this measure will only be taken if the risk to course staff cannot be managed safely.
Staff: In the event of a shutdown to any area, casual staff will continue to be paid as per their normal roster. Salaried staff will use their sick leave entitlements and the club will make up any shortfall if required.
Management and the Board are conscious of the need to remain vigilant at this time, and request that our Members do so as well. Should any Member have specific concerns or wishes to discuss the planned approach that is in place, please do not hesitate to contact the office.
From Golf Australia
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/
Member, Guest and Staff travel advice
If your members or guests have recently returned from overseas, they are now required by law to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, as of midnight on Sunday, March 15. During this period, they should not visit your facility for any reason.
If – in the 14 days prior to Sunday, March 15 – your members or guests have recently returned from or transited through China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mongolia or South Korea, we recommend that they do not visit your facility for any reason – including use of the golf course only – until the 14 day period has elapsed.
We further recommend that if – in the 14 days prior to Sunday March 15 – members or guests recently returned from or who have transited through Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand or from a cruise holiday and who are experiencing flu-like symptoms do not visit your facility, including use of the golf course only, for 14 days.
For simple, easy to understand advice for your members and guests including important health tips, you can also refer to the World Health Organisation’s advice for the public website.
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 should be noted that the vast majority of golfers can and should continue to visit your clubs or facility as per normal. Of course, golfers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments.
Clubhouse & Golf Operations:
Clubs should consider reviewing their clubhouse and golf operations ensuring procedures are in place that minimise close person-to-person contact where possible. It is up to club and facility management to consider whether policies on clubhouse opening hours, course opening hours and visitor access require review at this time.
It is important for club boards and management to review contingencies to plan stages ahead for club operations should public information change.
Practices within clubhouses 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.
Course Maintenance Operations:
Clubs and facilities should consider reviewing their course maintenance operations ensuring procedures are in place that minimise close person-to-person contact. Practices within the course maintenance team should display a heightened regard for the sanitation of surfaces, including machinery controls, 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.
Clubs should also consider separating course maintenance staff in to separate shifts to help ensure continuity should self-isolation among your course maintenance staff be required.
Examples of easy to implement changes to regular operations:
Some examples of changes for clubs and facilities that will help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 include:
• Place signage around clubhouse along with hand sanitisers
• Remove use of member cards in place of providing member number at point of
• Remove shared items such as complimentary cheese and crackers
• Where possible, leaving doors ajar removing the need to push doors open or turn
• No hand-shaking
• No dollar bets
• Use drink trays for rounds of drinks
• Remove items such as shoe cleaners, sun creams, hair brushes and combs, hair
gel and hair dryers from locker rooms
• Sanitise motorised carts, push buggy and sand bucket handles, air compressor
handles, before and after use
• Encourage golfers to wear their putting glove when removing the flag stick and
when raking bunkers
• Remove cash transactions and encourage ‘Pay-Wave’ transactions where no contact is required
• Remove small pins from practice putting greens
To be clear, Golf Australia is not advocating for regular club competitions to cease and we are encouraging that these continue. Rather, we have sought to act on events where we believe the significant travel requirements involved posed a greater risk than the regular act of competition golf.
Golf Australia – staff update
All Golf Australia staff will work from home starting Wednesday, March 18 until Tuesday, March 31. If there is any change in these dates, we will advise all clubs and facilities closer to that date.
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 email@example.com.