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Club News

On Fri March 27 2020, by Secretary

Sky Sports Ewen Murray: Was it the right call to shut down golf in the UK?

Golf columnist Ewen Murray: Was it the right call to shut down golf in the UK?

"I couldn't help thinking, the elderly, those at most risk, would surely benefit from a few holes now and again in the fresh spring air?"

After golfing authorities in the UK ordered the closure of all courses, Ewen Murray gives his verdict on a difficult decision in difficult times....

Last weekend, I was walking my dog, Islay, along the public footpath which meanders its way through a corner of The West Sussex golf course. The course was understandably quiet given the world we are currently living in, yet there were some golfers playing.

One elderly couple, who I found out had been members for many years, were two of these golfers. I smiled to myself thinking they made a lovely picture walking up the fairway. These difficult times, two seniors enjoying the fresh air and exercise which can only be good for physical and mental health.

Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement on (23 March), golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close.

Read the full statement here:https://t.co/nNdk20LhdW pic.twitter.com/eQg0BWlKG1

— England Golf (@EnglandGolf) March 23, 2020

At that time, golf was pretty much as we knew it. Play, yes, but stay true to the recommendations laid down by the government. This couple did that.

One trolley was left on the left side of the tee, the other on the right. As they walked the fairways, they remained five yards apart, yet they would be going home in the same car to their house. In short, they were doing as they have been told.

The day after came the news that no golf would be allowed across the country due to the coronavirus outbreak. I thought of that couple along with the other golfers in the British Isles. Was it the correct call to halt this hobby and pastime?

All courses in the UK have been ordered to close due to the coronavirus outbreak

In three words, you have the answer. Broadcasted to the nation by our Prime Minister, the message was short and simple: "Stay at Home". To go on playing after that speech would be wrong, yet I couldn't help thinking, the elderly, those at most risk, would surely benefit from a few holes now and again in the fresh spring air the country has enjoyed recently.

Then I thought of the brilliant NHS staff and their dedication to their profession, their unswerving will to help everyone they come in contact with, without any thought or regard for their own safety or well-being. The hours they have put in, not just in recent times and the hours they will work in the weeks/months ahead.

During the next two weeks, we would normally have been wishing the hours away so we could watch the annual spectacle from Augusta National, the tournament that heralds the start of the season for many golfers.

The Masters was the first major to be postponed

There will be no azaleas this spring, no PGA Championship, and the US Open and the 149th Open Championship are looking more like hope rather than reality. This is, understandably, somewhat depressing for golf fans all over the world.

But out of every dark tunnel comes light, so let's ignore the golfing negatives of the present, focus on the positive, get through this and look to the future. When the world is healthy again, we have much to look forward to.

The golf courses across the world are getting a rest, something they haven't had in a long while. Maintenance can be carried out by the green staff uninterrupted by golfers. With the advances in agronomy along with the talent of highly skilled green-keepers we are fortunate to have, when we do return to the fairways, your course will be a pretty picture. Augusta like

The Masters: PGA Tour stars back decision to postpone major

This morning I talked to Kerr Rowan, the head green-keeper at West Sussex. Despite the closure of courses, the green staff can carry out essential maintenance. This includes green cutting twice a week, fairways and aprons once and rough once a fortnight. With no traffic, paths and walkways get a rest and time to recover, much-used areas around the tees and greens the same.

I know it's frustrating for golf to be redundant, but this is something we haven't endured in years gone by and we hope we never see the likes of it again. But do dream of the time when the light goes from red to green with the majors back, along with all of the other tournaments and championships you look forward to.

Think of how your golf course will look after this enforced layoff and how much enjoyment you will get from playing it again. Also, how much more we will appreciate it as well as the sport itself.

Finally, remember the Prime Minister's words. Stay at Home. This won't last forever.

On Tue March 24 2020, by Secretary

England Golf Guidance 'CLUBS, COURSES AND FACILITIES MUST CLOSE'

Following on from the Prime Minister’s statement on (23 March), golf clubs, courses and facilities in England must now close.

It is England Golf’s position that this deeply regrettable, but highly necessary and responsible course of action must be implemented with immediate effect and be maintained until further notice.

The government has identified an urgent need to introduce new restrictions on public life and on non-essential businesses opening their doors.

This has been done to limit the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the growing pressure on our National Health Service.

Keeping golf courses open is simply no longer compatible with the updated policy of government which is designed to save lives in a time of national emergency.

The health and wellbeing of the nation is the only consideration that matters at this moment in our history.

These are incredibly testing times for the country. The golf industry cannot be shielded from the economic and social ramifications caused by this temporary shutdown of normal life.

We would like to assure the golfing community that England Golf staff will continue to work remotely with all affiliated golfers, clubs and counties to try and minimise the damage caused by this suspension of regular golf club life.

We will continue to signpost clubs and counties to the latest government advice and schemes designed to help the economy cope with the disruption caused by coronavirus.

On Thu March 19 2020, by Secretary

Coronavirus Pandemic Update Thursday 19 March 2020

Firstly and most importantly we hope you and your families remain safe and healthy at this worrying time.

Clubhouse
To protect members, visitors and staff, and in response to Government advice, the Directors decided to close the bar, lounge, snooker room, dining room and marquee with effect from Tuesday 17th March.

The locker rooms and toilets will remain open until 5pm. We hope to introduce a rota system so doors can be left open until later. Entry doors will be propped open. Please wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after entering and before leaving the Clubhouse.

We will continue to monitor and respond quickly to instructions from Government, Public Health England and England Golf. We are in uncharted territory so our responses may have to change at very short notice.

The key symptoms of Coronavirus are fever and tiredness, persistent cough and breathing difficulties. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then in the interests of your fellow members and Golf Club staff please don't come to the Club.

Play
➢ Golf is a great form of open air exercise which can be played at a safe distance from others so we have decided that members can continue to play recreational golf for the time being.
➢ We strongly advise against large numbers rolling up to play at the same time around the 1st tee.
➢ Club competitions will continue although there will be no further shotgun competitions. These will be converted to staggered start tee off competitions.
➢ Anyone who has already entered a competition who falls into a vulnerable category may feel it is prudent to withdraw from a competition. This is perfectly understandable.
➢ The gap between tee off times will be extended from 8 minutes to 10 minutes and playing group sizes for all medal or stableford competitions will be reduced from 4 to 3 players per group.
➢ Annual Knock Out Competitions will continue.
➢ All Inter-Club friendly matches should be postponed for the time being.
➢ Open Competitions will continue to be held as start times are staggered. Visitors will be encouraged to follow our safe play protocol. Refunds will be made if we are unable to provide food.
➢ Pro Shop staff will wear protective gloves to hand out scorecards and collect entry fees. We suggest you take one of your playing partner's scorecards rather than exchange cards on the 1st tee.
➢ The touch screens will be inaccessible and disabled so completed scorecards, or supplementary scorecards, should be left in the boxes. The men's scorecard box has been moved to the entrance to the men's locker room.
➢ Players are encouraged to keep a safe distance from their playing partners before, during and after their round.
➢ You must leave flag sticks in the holes. Ball washers will be taped over.
➢ Rakes have been removed from bunkers. All bunkers are now GUR (Ground Under Repair)
➢ Respect the space of your fellow members. Players should keep a safe distance apart and avoid handshakes or other forms of etiquette at the end of their round
➢ Please leave the car park as soon as possible after you complete your round.

We hope these guidelines are helpful but please do not hesitate to contact the Office if you have any concerns or require any further clarification. We will notify you when anything changes.
Our plan is to keep the golf course open for as long as we can.


Allan McVittie
Chairman
Shrewsbury Golf Club Ltd

On Tue March 17 2020, by Secretary

Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19 Virus)

The Directors of Shrewsbury Golf Club Ltd met yesterday afternoon to consider the club's response to the Coronavirus Pandemic and to review our Business Continuity Plan.

We have been monitoring the national situation very closely and have been acting on advice from England Golf, The R&A, Golf Course Manager's Association, PGA and BIGGA (British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

You may be aware that the Government is now urging people to avoid non-essential social contact including going to pubs, clubs and theatres. In the circumstances we have decided that we must close the Clubhouse with the exception of the locker rooms and toilets with immediate effect. The Pro Shop will remain open for business.

At the moment subject to further advice from Government the course will remain open for general play. To reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus being spread please leave flag sticks in, use gloved hands for bunker rakes and ball washers, avoid the etiquette of shaking hands at the end of a game and thoroughly wash your hands with soap & water after you play.

The Directors are to meet every Monday to review the national situation and forthcoming Club events but will keep you informed immediately if anything changes in the interim.

Please stay safe in these uncertain times.

Allan McVittie

Chairman

On Thu March 12 2020, by Golfworking

Coronavirus

We have been monitoring the situation related to Coronavirus (Covid-19) closely since the outbreak started & considering what appropriate actions we should be taking to safeguard the members & staff.

Whilst we know the travel plans of the staff, we do not have the same information in relation to the members & would therefore ask for the same response from members who have either travelled abroad to any of the risk areas or are showing any symptoms that could be attributed to Coronavirus.

Please see below the government guidance on Coronavirus. Up-to-date information can be found through this link. This is updated regularly and members who are concerned are encouraged to check this site for the most current information.

In summary, the advice about returning travellers is that anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, should stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February, should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if they do not have symptoms:

• Iran
• Specific lockdown areas in northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy including in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano; and in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo
• ‘Special care zones’ in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea including Daegu and Cheongdo
• Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

Anyone who has returned from the following areas since 19 February and develops symptoms, however mild, should stay indoors at home, avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. They do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms.

• Northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
• Vietnam
• Cambodia
• Laos
• Myanmar

Members are asked to advise the Club if they are diagnosed as having contracted Coronavirus, or have been in proximity to someone who has been diagnosed with Coronavirus.

Information about the virus itself and how to prevent it spreading can be found by cutting and pasting the following link in to your web browser; (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/).
In line with this advice, the Club asks members and staff to ensure they are regularly washing their hands with soap and water, to cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing, and to dispose of any tissues when used. We will also be providing extra hand sanitising gel in toilets and other relevant areas.

We will update members if and when this advice changes materially.

Kind regards & please stay safe

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