Golf Competitions are back

Posted on: 27 October

The following is an abridged version of the information released by Golf Australia following changes to Chief health Officer Directions of Friday 22 October 2021

Application of Vaccination Requirements – All of Victoria

Golf Australia has sought clarity from Sport & Recreation Victoria and understands that golf courses and their clubhouses can be treated separately for the purposes of the vaccination requirements to attend the facilities.

The golf courses and outdoor practice facilities themselves are outdoor recreational facilities and do not require a person to be fully vaccinated to use them. As has been the case throughout recent months, a club/facility may choose to implement a policy that requires vaccination to participate, and Golf Australia fully supports those clubs/facilities in that decision. Golf Australia does recommend that a club/facility seek its own legal advice before the implementation of that policy based on its own unique circumstances.

The use of indoor facilities however is subject to vaccination requirements for both patrons and workers. In metropolitan Melbourne, there is one level of operation for a clubhouse, and in regional Victoria there are two that a club/facility must choose from, all of which are listed below.

Restriction Advice – GMGA District Victorian Clubs

Golf Operations

  • Groups of four are allowed;
  • There are no limits on the number of people who can play golf;
  • All shared equipment must be cleaned between users; (Open Premises Directions refer clause 32 (1)) NB: flagsticks and bunker rakes should be classified as ‘frequently touched surfaces’ in your COVID Safe Plan meaning provision must be given to regular cleaning, rather than in between each use.
  • Regional Victoria – Group coaching can be conducted for a maximum of 20 people (excluding the coach). There are no vaccination requirements for these groups, and all coaching must be conducted outdoors; (Stay Safe Direction Regional Victoria – Clause 7(4)(a)). Coaches must comply with the requirements of the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Workers) Direction. Indoor coaching can take place provided that the number of patrons does not exceed 1 patron per 4 square metres or 10 patrons, whichever is the lower. (Open Premises Direction Clause 32 (11) (a)&(e))
  • Regional Victoria– Golf competitions are allowed to be conducted in regional Victoria (Open Premises Directions refer clause 32(2)(c)) 
  • Regional Victoria– Retail areas (golf shops) may only operate in an indoor space provided that they do not permit more than 10 patrons or 1 patron per 4 square metres, whichever is the lower, or they may operate in a combined indoor/outdoor space provided they don’t permit more that 20 patrons or 1 patron per 4 square metres, whichever is the lower. (Open Premises Directions refer clause 36(4))

Clubhouse Operations

  • Regional Victoria – If all patrons and workers within the clubhouse are fully vaccinated or are excepted persons, hospitality may operate seated service for up to 30 fully vaccinated people indoors and 100 fully vaccinated people outdoors. For avoidance of doubt, the maximum number of patrons that can be served at any one time is 130; (Open Premises Directions refer clause 8)
  • Regional Victoria – If any patron or worker is not fully vaccinated, is not an excepted person or refuses to provide evidence of vaccination status, hospitality may only operate seated service for 10 people indoors and 30 people outdoors. For avoidance of doubt, the maximum number of patrons that can be served at any one time is 40. (Open Premises Directions refer clause 8)
  • A COVID Check-in Marshal must be stationed at each entrance to your food/beverage facility and ensure that patrons show evidence of being fully vaccinated; (Open Premises Directions refer clause 11)
  • Dancefloors are not permitted; (Open Premises Directions refer clause 9)

Employer Obligations

  • Regional Victoria – Operation of work premises. An employer may permit a worker to perform work at the employer’s work premises if it is not reasonably practical for the employee to work at their place of residence; (Workplace Directions refer clause 5 (2))
  • While there have been minimal changes to the Mandatory Vaccination Workers direction and dates of compliance for workers, there are inclusions in the new Open Premises Direction that requires those workers working in an environment where patrons are required to be fully vaccinated or an excepted person, to also be fully vaccinated or an excepted person. This means if you are looking to operate your hospitality at the higher levels of 20 indoor/50 outdoors for metropolitan Melbourne, and 30 indoors/100 outdoors in regional Victoria, all clubhouse staff will be required to provide evidence that they are fully vaccinated or are an excepted person effective immediately.
  • Employers must keep records of all people who attend the work premises, including first name, surname, phone number, date and time of attendance and the areas of work. (Workplace Directions refer clause (6)(10).

General Operations

  • Separate QR codes must be in place for access to the food/beverage facility and the golf course;
  • A resident of regional Victoria is not able to attend a facility in metropolitan Melbourne for the purposes of playing golf or partaking in hospitality; (Stay Safe Directions metropolitan Melbourne refer clause 5 (2) (a))
  • A resident of metropolitan Melbourne is not able to attend a facility in regional Victoria for the purposes of playing golf or partaking in hospitality; (Stay safe Directions regional Victoria refer clause 5 (2) (a))
  • Masks must be worn at all times indoors and outdoors other than where exceptions apply, e.g. when undertaking strenuous exercise; (Stay Safe Directions metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria refer clause 5 (8))
  • The patron limits and vaccination requirements do not prevent an operator from permitting a patron to access a bathroom, or to seek shelter in the event of severe weather; (Open Premises Directions refer clause 12 & 13)



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