COVID-19 Crisis: What does “essential maintenance” mean?

Following the Government’s announcement that “essential” maintenance was permitted on golf courses during the current period of extreme measures to combat COVID-19, it has become clear that various golf clubs and greenkeepers are interpreting the phrase very differently. We at GCMA, along with the R&A and supported by the wider UK golf industry, believe strongly that this phrase needed definition and clarity.

The current stringent lockdown measures are hugely important to protect society from the virus. The following guidance produced by The R&A, with our support and input, sets out a maximum level of work that is considered essential for golf courses at this time.

The prime factor in all this is the health and safety of our members and their families. It is vital that work only takes place in the safest of environments with stringent measures in place to prevent greenkeepers being exposed to the virus. We believe that with good care it is possible to provide such an environment, but also believe that work should be kept to the minimum described.

Importantly, the guidance will remain under review as climatic conditions change and if the period of lockdown extends. If the measures extend for a longer period of time, the scope of what is considered essential work may evolve.

We would urge all golf clubs and greenkeepers to abide by the guidance in order that greenkeepers are kept safe and the nation’s golf courses are kept in a condition which will be recoverable at the end of this terrible period.

Essential Maintenance Statement for Golf Courses during COVID-19 Outbreak

By Marie J. Taylor

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