Golf Clubhouses to Reopen in England
Since the much welcomed resumption of play in May, golf courses in England have experienced unprecedented demand, tee times are the hottest tickets in town, and golfers have been taking full advantage of the opportunity to restore a sense of normality to their lives, a fact reflected in the record number of visitors to Golfshake and the Score Tracker.
However, one thing that had been absent in the return was access to clubhouses and the bar and catering facilities within them, but that is all set to change from July 4th following new statements on lockdown rules by the Government, impacting venues in England.
Pubs and restaurants will now be able to open providing they can demonstrate that they are “COVID-19 Safe”. For golfers, this includes much cherished clubhouses, where members and visitors will soon have the chance to reflect on their rounds with a drink or bite to eat, a move that will offer needed additional revenue to clubs.
Notably, there is now scope for the 2m Social Distancing rules to be relaxed in certain scenarios, allowing "1m Plus" assuming measures to reduce the risk of virus transmission have been deployed.
As England Golf notes, these should include:
- Keeping a temporary record of customers for 21 days to assist with NHS Track and Trace Requests
- Providing clear guidance on arrival of Social Distancing & Hygiene measures in place at the venue
- Utilising contactless payment wherever possible
- Calculating the maximum number of customers it is safe to accommodate taking into account either the 2m Social Distancing rule or new “1m Plus” rule.
- Where PPE is already being used, it should continue to be, however workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE and risk assessment should reflect the limited role such equipment will play.
- Table service should be offered with a designated server wherever possible. In instances where bar or counter service is unavoidable, customers need to be prevented from remaining at the bar after ordering.
The governing body has also revealed guidelines for venues in preparation for their reopening, including practical considerations, but noting that no two businesses are the same, making clubs responsible for implementing the guidance.
Ultimately, for many golfers, the sense of community that a club provides is a huge attraction, something that has been compromised during the pandemic, but with the return of clubhouse facilities, we are refreshingly that step closer to how things once were.
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