Golf Australia today released updated information to golf clubs concerning the coronavirus.
The full information release sent to clubs can be read below but for any updated changes please check out the COVID-19 information page at Golf Australia.
Last updated Wednesday, 18 March 2020
Dear Australian Golf Clubs and Facilities,
As you are aware, COVID-19 or the Coronavirus as it is more commonly known has created global health concerns regarding the disease and its infection rates.
Golf Australia is writing to provide further assistance and guidance to our clubs and facilities on this important topic.
On Wednesday, March 18 the Australian Government announced that all non-essential gatherings of 100 or more would be banned. Further information and advice on this topic is located in the Member, Guest and Staff health advice section.
It is Golf Australia’s recommendation to clubs and facilities that advice from the Australian Government’s Department of Health should be monitored closely over the coming days and weeks, as well as the Australian Government’s Smartraveller website. Advice may change from day to day.
Please note, Golf Australia remains fully operational for all of your clubs and facilities support, rules and handicapping and competition management requirements. For contact details of each departmental area, please visit www.golf.org.au/contactus.
Member, Guest and Staff travel advice
If your members or guests have recently returned from overseas, they are now required by law to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, as of midnight on Sunday, March 15. During this period, they should not visit your facility for any reason.
If – in the 14 days prior to Sunday, March 15 – your members or guests have recently returned from or transited through China, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mongolia or South Korea, we recommend that they do not visit your facility for any reason – including use of the golf course only – until the 14 day period has elapsed.
We further recommend that if – in the 14 days prior to Sunday March 15 – members or guests recently returned from or who have transited through Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand or from a cruise holiday and who are experiencing flu-like symptoms do not visit your facility, including use of the golf course only, for 14 days.
For simple, easy to understand advice for your members and guests including important health tips, you can also refer to the World Health Organisation’s advice for the public website.
Member, Guest and Staff health advice
Golf clubs and facilities are often heavily trafficked, and there is a chance that a member, guest or member of your staff will be exposed to, or test positive to, COVID-19.
It is vitally important that if a member, guest or staff member tests positive to COVID-19, they must inform the club/facility as soon as possible. If this has occurred, anyone testing positive will be contacted by the State/Territory Department of Health in relation to contact tracing. You should then take advice on ongoing facility operations from your State/Territory Department of Health.
It should be noted that the vast majority of golfers can and should continue to visit your clubs and facilities as per normal. Of course, golfers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments. By its nature, golf promotes a level of social distancing and while it is important that this is adhered to, golf is a lower risk sport than many others.
Clubhouse & Golf Operations:
On Wednesday, March 18 the Australian Government announced that all non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 or more would be banned. This will have a significant impact on clubhouse operations for many golf clubs and facilities. Golf Australia recommends that clubs and facilities who – during the course of regular clubhouse operations – often have 100 or more people within their clubhouse at any given time now put in place alternative operational plans.
Ban on Gatherings of More Than 100 People – CLARIFICATION
Authorities have advised that the interpretation of the ban on all indoor non-essential gathering of more than 100 persons is defined as being 100 people per single enclosed area of a venue.
For example, you can have 100 people in a function room including staff, while also having 100 people including staff in the Member’s Bar.
Those operational plans may include;
Extending Clubhouse services to outdoor areas
Removing ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Two-Tee’ Starts to reduce peak service loads in Clubhouses’
Limiting the patrons who may enter the building at any one time
Limiting bookings for dining services, accordingly, taking into account staff numbers that will be present in the building.
Increasing use of ‘Halfway Huts’ and ‘Catering Carts’ to minimise the requirement for Clubhouse use
Reviewing the requirements for Clubhouse operations.
It will continue to be important for club Boards and management to review contingencies to plan stages ahead for club operations should public information change.
Practices within clubhouses should display a heightened regard for the sanitation of surfaces, of which your cleaning chemical provider will be able to provide guidance on.
Staff and volunteers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments.
Course Maintenance Operations:
Clubs and facilities should consider reviewing their course maintenance operations ensuring procedures are in place that minimise close person-to-person contact. Practices within the course maintenance team should display a heightened regard for the sanitation of surfaces, including machinery controls, of which your cleaning chemical provider will be able to provide guidance on. Staff and volunteers should exhibit a heightened awareness of personal hygiene as has been encouraged by state and federal health departments.
Clubs should also consider separating course maintenance staff in to separate shifts to help ensure continuity should self-isolation among your course maintenance staff be required.
Examples of easy to implement changes to regular operations:
Some examples of changes for clubs and facilities that will help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 include:
Place signage around clubhouse along with hand sanitisers
Remove cash transactions and encourage ‘Pay-Wave’ transactions where no contact is required
Remove use of member cards in place of providing member number at point of sale
Remove shared items such as complimentary cheese and crackers
Remove table items such as salt and pepper shakers and water stations on bars
Where possible, leaving doors ajar removing the need to push doors open or turn door knobs
No hand shaking
No dollar bets
Use drink trays for rounds of drinks
Remove items such as pens, shoe cleaners, sun creams, hair brushes and combs, hair gel and hair dryers from locker rooms
Sanitise motorised carts, push buggy and sand bucket handles, air compressor handles, before and after use
Encourage golfers to wear their putting glove when removing the flag stick and when raking bunkers
Remove small pins from practice putting greens
With practice balls, review your club’s methods of ball dispensing and cleaning.
Golf club competition advice
Golf Australia is not currently advocating for regular club competitions to cease and we are encouraging that these continue. However, it will be important to continue to monitor Federal and State Government announcements over the coming days that may impact on golf operations. This advice must also be viewed through the prism of the mass gathering ban put in place on Wednesday, March 18.
Golf Australia – staff update:
All Golf Australia staff will work from home starting Wednesday, March 18 until Tuesday, March 31. If there is any change in these dates, we will advise all clubs and facilities closer to that date.
We will still be contactable via regular means such as phone and e-mail, and our reception phone will be diverted to ensure all incoming calls are answered.
As previously noted, the virus and potential implications are changing constantly and we will continue to monitor accordingly, and provide updates to clubs and facilities as regularly as required, or alternatively when additional Federal Government updates are announced.
For further information from the Federal Government on COVID-19, the Coronavirus Health Information Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.
If you require additional information or have questions please do not hesitate to contact Golf Australia on (03) 9626 5000 or [email protected]