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All golf courses in Ireland are to go back into lockdown with immediate effect.

The news follows talks held between the Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union with Sport Ireland to determined whether or not Irish courses are impacted by the new Level Five restrictions announced on Monday.

In a statement, the GUI and ILGU said: “Following intensive engagement over the past 48 hours, we have been informed this afternoon by Sport Ireland that, very regrettably golf clubs must close under the new Level 5 restrictions.

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“Essential course maintenance is permitted to continue under Level 5. We have sought clarity on the issue as to whether ranges/practice facilities can remain open for exempted activities. We will update clubs on this as soon as possible.”

The new measures came into force at midnight today and will remain in place for six weeks.

Ireland follows Wales in announcing the temporary closure of its golf courses.

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In announcing the tougher restrictions, the Irish government said that it was escalating the country’s fight against the coronavirus for a number of reasons.

A statement on the government website says: “This action is based on current public health advice, the deteriorating situation with the disease across the country and the government’s objectives to support families by keeping schools and childcare facilities open, maintaining non-COVID health services and protecting the vulnerable.”

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It was initially unclear whether or not golf courses would from the new measures as the Irish government guidelines included an exemption for people to exercise within a 5km radius of their homes, with penalties enforced for movement outwith 5km for non-essential purposes.

With no clarity on whether or not golf was defined within the guidelines as ‘exercise’, many were left to wonder whether or not the sport would be obligated to follow the new measures.

Today’s statement from the GUI and ILGU has confirmed the news that most Irish golfers were dreading: they are.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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