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Unions Publish Protocol For Golf’s Safe Return In Northern Ireland​

9.48am 20th May 2020 - Coronavirus NewsManagement Topics

The Stormont Executive has confirmed that golf courses across Northern Ireland can open for play from today (Wednesday 20th May) using the protocol jointly published by the GUI and ILGU available at

This Protocol is the basis on which the Unions and Golf Ireland sought the inclusion by the Executive of the resumption of golf in Step 1 of their plan.

As one of the first sports to be allowed to resume, there is a major responsibility on golf clubs and golfers to ensure that our sport is conducted in a safe and responsible manner. Full adherence to the provisions of this Protocol is absolutely essential.

It should be noted that the Executive continues to monitor the situation closely and have not ruled out the reintroduction of restrictions which could see golf clubs closed once again, if the Protocol is not followed.

The Protocol is aligned to the five steps of the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery and sets out how the restrictions on golf will be eased over the coming months. As the Executive have chosen not to produce indicative dates for change in the steps of their plan, we reserve the right to add or subtract from any phase of the Protocol. The current version will always be available at

Golf is in the very privileged position to be allowed to resume in the first step and this return has been based on the sport being able to demonstrate to government that it can take place in a safe, socially distant manner, which this Protocol achieves.

All clubs, golfers and staff have a shared responsibility to ensure the Protocol is adhered to. We ask that clubs pledge their commitment to implementing the protocol by signing up using the link provided in our email. 

We are aware that there are several other unofficial guidelines in circulation. It should be emphasised that clubs and golfers must exclusively adhere to the Protocol as published by the GUI and ILGU to ensure that we can continue to enjoy our sport in the times ahead.

The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency remains our primary concern and overriding priority. The Unions acknowledge the tremendous efforts of all frontline workers which has allowed golf and society in general to consider this gradual return to normal life.

The Protocol is available for download from


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