Federal and State Government restrictions to enforce social-distancing has seen the closure of golf clubhouses across the country but nearly all courses remain open for play. For now.
The national governing body, Golf Australia, has been in regular contact with the Federal Government’s Department of Health and 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 March 23. Golf courses have since remained open for play.
Queensland golf courses were closed today under lockdown guidelines previously outlined by the National Cabinet in regard to licenced premises.
However, Golf Australia has since received verbal confirmation from Queensland Chief Health Officer, Janette Young, that she has approved Queensland golf clubs to operate their courses from tomorrow (March 26) 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 March 25, 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 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.
“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,” Ballarat General Manager Gary Fry said in statement released on Facebook. “We don’t want to risk the health and well-being of these stakeholders, the course or our great club.”