Dundalk Golf Club reopens after COVID-19 lockdown

Dundalk Golf Club reopened today, Monday, with over 230 members availing of their first opportunity to play since March 27 when the Government closed golf courses as part of the COVID0-19 restrictions.

A co-ordinated plan has been put in place by the Club to ensure golf is played in accordance with the Protocol jointly issued by the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golfing Union.

Only members who have booked through the Club’s tee-time reservation system are allowed on the course and a team of voluntary marshals are on duty to ensure that social distancing is observed.

Dundalk Golf Club’s Captain, Trevor Giff, and Lady Captain, Pauline Campbell, said they were delighted that golf is resuming after the lockdown and pleased to welcome members back to the course. 

“We appreciate that we are one of the first sports to resume playing and we understand the responsibility that comes with this privilege,” said the Lady Captain. “Members are being asked to follow the GUI and ILGU joint Protocol that has been put in place to protect both players and staff and also to follow the guidelines issued by the Club.”

The Captain, Trevor Giff, said that a lot of hard work had taken place to enable play to resume and he paid tribute to the Club’s Head of Operations and his Staff for completing essential maintenance during lockdown and ensuring that the course was in good shape, despite the lack of rain, when members returned.

“The course looks very well and has benefited from not having any golf played on it for over seven weeks. It will be casual golf for the first three weeks with competitions allowed to start in the Phase Two,” he said.

WATCH: A video message from the Captains 

Dundalk members are being restricted to nine holes for five of the opening seven days with an 18-hole option available on Wednesday and Saturday.

“We wanted to give as many members as possible the opportunity to play in the first week so we limited play to nine holes for five of the first seven days and we also asked members to restrict their bookings to 27 holes during the week,” said Head of Operations, John O’Sullivan. “We will analyse that plan during the week and tweak it depending on feedback and our own observations.”

Not all Dundalk Golf Club members are getting the opportunity to return to play this week as many were outside the 5km travel radius permitted under the Government restrictions. O’Sullivan said that they will be looking at ensuring this group gets its opportunity to play when the travel limit is extended to 20km on June 8.

“Because restrictions have been placed on who can and cannot play there are a large number of members who find themselves unable to play golf for the next three weeks. They understand why they cannot play and will receive priority when their opportunity comes in Phase Two of the Government’s Reopening Roadmap,” said O’Sullivan.

One upside for Dundalk Golf Club has been the increased number of enquiries from people wanting to join the Club and O’Sullivan said people are now seeing the many benefits of playing golf and belonging to one of the top clubs in the country.

PHOTO: Lady Captain Pauline Campbell and Captain Trevor Giff use their drivers to show how to measure the two metres required for social distancing.

Reopening Protocols for Phase 1 published

Dundalk Golf Cub has published its Reopening Protocols for Phase 1 of the Government’s Roadmap and the GUI/IGLUProtocol. The Protcol provides members with a standard operating procedure that will ensure their return to the golf course from May 18 is as safe and enjoyable as possible.   

Course Access
• In Phase 1 the Club will be open to Members only and for casual golf only. We hope to allow non-members to visit in due course, initially at the invitation of members. This will only happen in line with further lifting of the current restrictions.

• Bookings will only be facilitated through the BRS system and will go live in one-week blocks at 10am each Friday morning. Days and times will be allocated to categories in a fair and equitable manner. Bookings will also be accommodated by calling the golf shop on 042-9322102.

• Members are asked to play a maximum of 3 times per week (27 holes). This is to facilitate as many members as possible getting some golf and will be reviewed after two weeks or earlier if required.

• Play will initially be in:

o 3-balls at 14-minute intervals.
o 9 hole time sheet.
o 2 tee start from the 1st and the 10th tees.
o Starting times shall be 8am from the 1st tee and 9.30 from the 10th tee.
o Two 18 hole time sheets will also be included each week of the first phase protocols.
o No cutting in or no continuing rounds after your 9 holes have been completed
o To facilitate course maintenance the last tee-off time each day shall be 6pm. This will be subject to review.
o The main gate will be closed at 8.30 pm each evening

• Members who have been out of the country in the previous 14 days should not visit the Club.

• Members should not visit the Club if doing so puts them in contravention of government restrictions.

• Members should not visit the Club if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19.

• The usual reserved tee times for Men, Ladies & Junior Competitions are suspended until further notice.

• Due to the expected volume of play, the current dry spell and the necessity for staff to maintain the physical distancing protocols there will be times when the timesheet will be reserved for essential course maintenance. The no “cutting-in” rule must be absolutely adhered to in order to allow the course staff to work ahead of the golfers.

• Juvenile Members MUST play in the company of a family member or an adult who will be responsible for them.

Booking & Arrival

• The Government’s 5km travel limit and Over 70’s advisory is in operation and is part of the return to Golf Protocols as issued by the GUI and ILGU. All golf clubs have been asked to sign up to these Protocols to ensure we can benefit from the safe lifting of restrictions in Phase 1.

• Pre-booking your tee-time in advance is compulsory in Phase 1. You can book via BRS or by phone. Pre-booking is required to facilitate contact tracing should a member be affected with Covid-19.

• Please note that golfers who do not use booked tee times may be restricted from making further bookings.

• We recommend golf equipment be washed or sanitised before leaving home.

• Ensure that you have sufficient numbers of golf balls, markers, tees to avoid having to exchange equipment with others.

• Golfers should travel to the Club alone, or with a member of the same household only.

• Please park in a manner so as to facilitate physical distancing.

• Arrive at the Clubhouse no more than 20 minutes before your reserved tee time.

• Resist the temptation to mingle prior to tee off (or after golf).

• Change shoes in the car park.

• Holes will be removed from the practice putting greens. No more than 5 persons on the practice green at any one time. Pitching around this green is NOT permitted.

• The practice areas are open but social distancing must be observed.

• The practice range will be open on a limited basis; use of the practice range is limited to members only and must be booked through the Golf Shop prior to arrival at the golf club. This will be subject to review.
Clubhouse & Pro Shop

• The Clubhouse remains closed for now as per government policy. Golf equipment retrieval from the lockers can be accommodated on a one-off basis by prior arrangement with the office. Please call the office on 042-9321731 or email manager@dundalkgolfclub.ie.

• The ladies and gents’ toilets in the locker rooms will be available and must be accessed through the doors on the golf course side of the clubhouse. Our staff will continue routine cleaning, sanitization and disinfection of all locations, especially all common and high traffic areas, and frequently touched surfaces. Access to lockers is not allowed.

• The Pro Shop will be open for limited hours, 7.30am – 6.00pm, until further notice.

• Entry will be restricted to 2 customers maximum in the shop at any time.

• Please observe the 2 metre queue marks on the floor.

• Only Card or account payments will be accepted.

To the Tee

• Groups are restricted to 3 balls every 14 minutes in this initial phase.

• Do not arrive at the first tee more than 5 minutes before your allotted tee time.

• Do not enter the teeing ground until the all members of the group in front have played their tee-shots and exited the teeing ground.

On The Course

• Club personnel will be on hand to monitor adherence with physical distancing protocols and the protocols set out in this document. Please adhere to all signage outlining the social distancing guidelines in place.

• Holes must be played in order starting from the 1st tee (or 10th on 9-hole days)

• Please adhere to signage on buggies. Buggy usage will be limited to one person at a time. Buggy surfaces will be wiped down by staff prior to use. If you must use a golf buggy, it must only be used by you and cannot be shared with or used by another player. Buggies must be booked in advance of arrival at the club through the BRS or by calling the golf shop.

• There is a ‘hook system’ on flags to facilitate easy golf ball retrieval from the holes on the golf course.

• Golfers are directed to leave the pin in the cup at all times and to avoid touching same.

• Ball washing stations will be out of use and course furniture will be taken out of use where possible. All rakes will be removed and a local rule is in place that permits placing your golf ball in any bunker on the course.

• Golfers are requested to personally dispose of any trash in the bins at the clubhouse.

• Family members should play together, rather than split into mixed groups.

• Observe physical distancing at all times on the course. Do not enter the next teeing ground until the all members of the group in front have played their tee-shots and exited the teeing ground. Do not exchange or share equipment, food or drink with other players during your round. Do not pick up another player’s equipment or golf ball.

• If your ball is lost, unplayable, or in a penalty area, don’t take an option under the rules that involves doubling back on your position on the course. Instead, use an option that allows you to keep your position on the course.

Home Safe

• After completing your round of golf return directly to your car and leave the Club.

• Lockers cannot be accessed.

• Hands should be washed and sanitised in the toilets or at one of the on-site dispensers.

• Members must call or email the Club Manager with any post-round health issues or Covid-19 related queries.


It is everyone’s wish that the above measures can be relaxed on a regular and on-going basis so that we get back to some semblance of normality, including competitions, prior to the end of the season. However, this can only happen if members have regard for the above protocols, their fellow members, and comply with what is asked of them.

As we progress through Phase 1 we will continue to adapt to these untested circumstances we now find ourselves in and we will also be making plans for those of you who fall under the lifting of Phase 2 restrictions (e.g. outside 5km but inside the 20km travel ban) and we will communicate these to you in good time prior to your return to Golf.

As the Club was limited to “essential maintenance” only during the period of closure, Members are reminded that their expectations for the standard of the golf course should be tempered accordingly.

Dundalk Golf Club prepares for a return to play

The 14th Hole

Dundalk Golf Club is preparing for a return to play next Monday, May 18, if the Government approves the commencement of Phase 1 of its plan to re-open Ireland.  
However, only members living within 5km of the course will be able to play initially although this distance restriction will be extended to 20km in Phase 2 which is scheduled to commence on June 8.
Following negotiations with the Government and the Public Health authorities, the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union published a Protocol last Friday which sets out safe measures for golf to return in a phased manner. All clubs and golfers have a responsibility to ensure it is adhered to as all clubs must sign up and pledge to implement its criteria.
“Golf is fortunate in being one of the first sports to resume during the pandemic and therefore there is a responsibility on all of us to ensure proper compliance with the Protocol in order to assist the resumption of other sports,” said John O’Sullivan, Head of Operations at Dundalk Golf Club. 
“Golf has been able to return early because it has demonstrated to government that it can take place in a safe, socially distant manner and it is vital that this happens when the playing of golf resumes.
“We are currently examining the criteria within the Protocol to see how we will implement it in Dundalk and once we have finalised our plan we will share it with our members.”
Dundalk Golf Club’s Plan for Reopening will include the procedure for booking tee-times, the format of the time-sheet, the hours of play, the procedures to be followed on arrival, on the course and after the round as well as the arrangements for use of the practice facilities. It will also include guidance on how to interact with Club Staff if there is an issue or a query. 
The Protocol is aligned to the five planned phases of the Government’s Roadmap and sets out how the restrictions on golf will be eased over the coming months. Over time, it will see a return to competitive play, access for guests and visitors, hosting of open competitions and the re-opening of the restaurant and the bar. The Protocol may be updated or amended in line with ongoing Government advice.
“All our members are eager to get back playing and that is understandable given the length of the closure and the good weather we have had recently. However, we have to be cautious in how we manage the return to playing because we are still dealing with a serious public health issue and need to show from the outset that we are approaching our reopening in a responsible and safe manner,” said O’Sullivan.  
Dundalk Golf Club have also received several enquiries from people wishing to join the Club in recent weeks and all membership queries should be directed to the Club Office by phone at 042-9321731 or by email to manager@dundalkgolfclub.ie