I was greatly disappointed that my local golf course had to close this week.  I thought of it as a respite from the lockdown, someplace you could go, by yourself, into the clean fresh open air for a few hours..........but after some ranting and raving I quickly figured that in the greater scheme of things it's not an enormous sacrifice if it helps stop the spread of Corona Virus.



Now don't get me wrong.....I didn't for one second think there was any danger of picking up the virus from touching rakes or pins.....that for me is absolute bullshit scaremongering....but "social distancing" I agree is the real issue.

I was of the opinion that if a golfer plays alone or with one other person, there would really be no risk.  But as was pointed out to me on twitter, many times, if we cannot get idiots to fix pitchmarks or rake bunkers as it is, how the hell are we going to get them to practice social distancing on the course?

So now the golf courses in Ireland are shut.  Or are they?  Apparently not all of them. Some private courses are open and Philip Reid writes in todays Irish Times that some in Dublin are still open.

Manager of Swords and Roganstown Ian McGuinness asserts that the courses only got a "recommendation" from the authorities and not an order to close.

“He [Varadkar] specifically said things like ‘groups of four’, ‘outside exercise’, ‘[can] leave the house if you are going out for physical exercise’, ‘we have to preserve our humanity’, which means taking exercise and looking after your physical and mental wellbeing; that as long as you keep the groups to four [or less] and keep safe distances . . . he left the parks open and, to be honest, there will be less people on the golf course than there will be in the park.”
So are the courses closed or not? And has the Golfing Union Of Ireland the 'authority' in this matter? Many would argue they have no jurisdiction but let's say they have.

Then it seems we have another problem. A money problem. Not a big problem in the overall scheme of things but if it was the Golfing Union Of Ireland (GUI) that took that made the order to close then is everybody entitled to their annual membership fees back?

I'm sure individual clubs can figure out for themselves how to give paid up members for 2020 an extension to their membership to make up for the time the course is closed.  That's not going to be a problem at all.

But every member who joins a golf club in Ireland has included in their fees a €23 levy which goes to the GUI/ILGU.  Over approximately 120,000 players that is almost €3 million per year.  So should this money, or a portion of it, be given back to the clubs and members?  There's no admin going on and nobody working, so surely that's got to be figured out too.

Luckily we've all got plenty of time now to figure it all out!



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