COVID-19: Club Procedures

Club Procedures dated 1st June 2020

The Board of Directors, in conjunction with the greens team, the professional and the caterers have drawn up the following rules/ guidance for the re-introduction of the playing of golf following the relaxing of the restrictions placed upon the club during the COVID-19 outbreak. These rules are subject to constant review and change so please ensure you are reading the most up to date version of this document.

Please note, this document does not replace the COVID-19 guidance issued by the Government which should be adhered to at all times.

The document deliberately follows the advice issued by the R & A and circulated to members by newsletter on 1st May 2020 and subsequent guidance issued following the Prime Ministers announcements since that date.

Members should be aware that failure to observe these guidelines may result in disciplinary action.

The R & A guidance is divided into five different areas:

a. Course Set-Up
b. Before the Round
c. During the Round
d. After the Round
e. Rules of Golf Related Matters

a. Course Set-Up

  • On-Course Items
    • All rakes to be removed.
    • Ball washers to be covered up.
    • Golfers should not use the benches located around the course and around the teeing areas.
    • Only yellow tees will be in play for gents and red tees will be in play for ladies.
  • Hole and Flagstick
    • Flagsticks will be placed on the greens, but members must avoid touching them and they should not be removed under any circumstances.
    • A device will be placed into the hole liner which will prevent all the ball falling below the surface of the putting green and will allow easy retrieval of the ball, by handling the ball only. This device should not be removed under any circumstances.
  • Practice Areas
    • Some practice areas are now open for use by members but with restrictions
      • The putting green has been divided into quarters. One person per quarter is allowed at any one time
      • The practice area on the Westwood is now available for use by members, however with effect from 1st June 2020, our Club Professional Richard Pace will be using that area for lessons as part of his phased return to golf operations. Richard will have precedence on the practice area so please liaise with Richard if you wish to practice whilst he is giving a lesson
      • The practice area and net behind the clubhouse remains out of use at this time

b. Before the Round

  • Bookings
    • Weekday tee times will commence at 0800 hours.
    • Weekend bookings will commence at 0730 hours.
    • Tee times are spaced at 10 minute intervals.
    • It is important that members abide by their allotted tee time and do not tee off early, particularly if there is a group ahead.
    • All tee times must be booked online using the Club V1 system.
    • Tee times can be booked 7 days in advance. There are no restrictions on the number of tee times a member may book.
    • Play shall only commence from the 1st tee.
    • It is hoped that members will exercise discretion when booking tee times to allow everyone a reasonable chance of playing golf following the lifting of restrictions.
    • The maximum number of golfers in a group per tee time will be 4 players.
    • Informal groups of members and block bookings i.e. roll ups will not be allowed until further notice
  • Arrival and Waiting to Play
    • The clubhouse will be closed.
    • Volunteer marshals may be present around the clubhouse, car park and around the course on an ad hoc basis. Please respect them and remember they are simply there to help your round of golf to pass without incident and advise other users of the Westwood that golf is now being played.
    • The trolley store will be open but only one person to access at any time.
    • The locker room facilities will be open but with restrictions. No more than 4 members in the locker room at any time with social distancing guidelines to be adhered to at all times.
    • A one-way system will be implemented for access to the gentlemen’s and ladies locker rooms and toilets. Please follow the directions posted on the doors.
    • Members are asked to arrive at the golf club no more than 20 minutes before their tee times. If a member arrives before this time, they should not leave their vehicles more than 20 minutes before their tee time.
    • It is recommended that members travel separately to the golf club unless they are members of the same household.
    • Strict social distancing requirements are to be implemented around the professional’s shop and members should avoid congregating in this area. Members should be aware that the Professional shop may not be open full time in the early stages of re-opening.
    • When open, only two golfers will be allowed in the shop at any time.
    • No trolleys, carts or other items will be available for hire unless authorised by the Professional

 c. During the Round

  • Teeing Areas
    • Golfers should keep 2 metres apart at teeing areas. It is recommended that golfers stand on opposite sides of the teeing area.
    • Golfers should not approach the first tee (or any other tee) until the teeing area is clear.
  • General
    • Golfers should stay more than 2 metres apart when walking to the ball, searching for a ball, and playing shots.
    • Golfers should not touch stray balls.
    • If playing as a single-player, only one ball should be used.
  • Bunkers
    • No rakes will be placed on the course.
    • After playing a shot from the bunker, golfers should make their very best efforts to smooth the sand using their club and/ or their feet.
    • Preferred lies are allowed in bunkers and a player may place a ball in the bunker within six inches of the original spot and not nearer to the hole than that spot. Smoothing the area as described above may take place prior to placing the ball within 6 inches.

d. After the Round

  • Social distancing is as important after a round as it is during the round. When the round is over please leave the course and the club/facility immediately to avoid gatherings around the clubhouse area.
  • The gate giving access to the car park from the 18th green and the gate giving access towards the 1st tee will be locked in place. The two cattle grid entrances will have to be used. Please exercise caution when walking across the cattle grids.

e. Rules of Golf Related Matters

Until further notice, the following provisions are considered acceptable on a temporary basis:

  • Forms of Play and Scoring
    •  Non-competition play will generally be used during the initial period of golf being played and until further notice.
    • The Board will be authorising Am Am competitions on a trial basis to assess the effectiveness of the tee time restriction and whether or not further revision is needed of tee times and/ or group sizes. The Board reserves the right to make any changes without notice.
  • Flagstick
    • Golfers are required to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times and not to touch it.
  • Hole and Holed
    • The hole liner (sometimes referred to as the hole ‘cup’) will be set in a way that means that all of the ball cannot be below the surface of the putting green, so the ball is considered holed if any part of it is below the surface of the putting green.
    • To minimise the need to lift the ball from the hole, it is recommended that a ball is holed with the next stroke if it is within 12 inches of the hole (which is just over the length of a standard putter grip). This does not prevent a player in match play conceding a stroke that is outside this length.
  • Handicaps
    • Normal handicaps will be in play

The Board of Directors hope that the above guidance is strictly adhered to by all members. These measures are necessary to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to enjoy a round of golf and are in place to facilitate the playing of golf in a safe way, following the enforced closure. We recognise that this is a departure from members normal routines and would ask for your patience and understanding in abiding by these temporary measures.

The Board will continue to monitor the guidance issued by the Government and the golf authorities as well as the effectiveness of these guidelines around the course. These guidelines will be updated accordingly.

We must remember that due to the unique nature of our golf course we are extremely visible to members of the public, many of whom have no regard for the playing of golf. Members should not engage in any conduct or behaviour that may bring themselves or the Club into disrepute.

Thank you in anticipation.