Golf Australia received verbal confirmation overnight from Queensland Chief Health Officer Janette Young that state government has now approved Queensland golf clubs can operate on their courses from today (25/3/2020).
According to the Golf Australia (QLD) Facebook page, golfers may continue to play golf in accordance with National Cabinet’s approved measures relating to outdoor gatherings, which includes but is not limited to having groups less than 10 people and maintaining a 1.5m spacing.
“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 and as a result of the food being sold,” says Luke Bates, QLD State Manager, Golf Australia.
“Pro shops can be used but people must not congregate in this area. Formal advice with specifications will be provided to all QLD Golf Clubs and facilities (today) via email and the Golf Australia website.
It’s a huge backflip from the Queensland government and the result of some heavy campaigning from Golf Australia, which yesterday posted the following advice for each state, QLD being the odd one out:
At this point, the advice received from the Queensland government is as follows; If a course or facility is licensed, it must completely close immediately.
Golf Australia is currently working hard to advocate for the sport to continue to be played during this crisis.
The advice for SA comes out of SAPOL, the Office of Rec, Sport & Racing and the Office of Liquor & Gaming through Clubs SA.
Your clubhouse must be closed and there should be no food and beverage service at the club, whatsoever. The pro shop can remain open, but must not be used as a place of social gathering under any circumstance.
Your club should be operating on a members-only basis.
The advice for Tasmania comes from the Tasmanian Hospitality Association.
The playing of golf can continue provided social distancing measures are in place. All licensed clubhouses should be immediately closed, with no food or beverage service taking place. Take away food and non-alcoholic beverages can be sold at pro shops.
The advice for WA comes from Clubs WA.
The playing of golf can continue provided social distancing measures are in place. All licensed clubhouses should be immediately closed, with no food or beverage service taking place. Take away food and non-alcoholic beverages can be sold out at pro shops, halfway hut or catering cart. Clubs should not provide any seated areas.
It is important that golf clubs and facilities adhere to these restrictions to ensure golf can continue to be played and is not seen as flouting the restrictions in place for other businesses.
New South Wales
The information for NSW comes from government and law enforcement officials.
While your clubhouse operations must be closed for normal business, golf activities can and should continue. Of course, golfers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene and adhere to social distancing guidelines, as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments.
The Northern Territory advice has been sourced from Licensing NT.
Licensing NT have provided additional direction stating that your course can remain open, however all bar areas and outdoor drinking areas for members and guests must be closed. You can, however, continue to sell takeaway liquor to members with the Clubhouse closed for any other purpose.
The Victorian advice has been sourced from Sport, Recreation & Racing Victoria.
Sport, Recreation and Racing Victoria’s advice is that golf courses can continue to operate at this time. Your Clubhouse must be closed at this time.
PGA of Australia Queensland State Manager Broc Greenhalgh was quick to relay the news online: “It’s been a big day of communication with my peers, which will be one of many in the foreseeable future … though nice to get QLD golf courses back open,” he said. “With this being said, it is time for our industry to lead the way and go over an above to maintain social distancing. Courses are open now, though will close just as quick if we aren’t having adult conversations with those not adhering to the guidelines.”