Police gets golf club to shut down tee times for distant members

Cahir Park Golf Club in Ireland cancels the bookings of members breaching the 5km travel restriction...

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 21 May 2020

Police paid a visit to an Irish golf club this week and then got them to shut down "one or two" tee-time bookings as a result of "distant members" breaching the 5km travelling restriction, according to the Irish Times

Under the current guidelines in the Republic of Ireland as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, golfers are only allowed to travel a maximum of 5km (about 3 miles) to exercise, but this rule does not apply to the rest of the British Isles. 

Golf clubs are not expected to enforce the rule, but police have taken it upon themselves to check if members are adhering to the rules as golf resumed in the Republic of Ireland on Monday this week. 

After visiting the Cahir Park Golf Club in Tipperary this week, the police claimed it was "unacceptable" that some members of the club were due to travel more than 5km to play golf. 

The club has around 800 members, of which a quarter are "distant members" living more than 40km away.

Police checked the registration plates of some of the golfers’ cars in the car park, and it was then brought to the attention of the club's honorary secretary Stephen Costello that tee times for "one or two" distant members had to be removed from the booking system. 



"I phoned them [the members] and they understood the situation,” Mr Costello told the Irish Times.

"It is not possible for any distant member to play golf at the moment. We have no sympathy for those who have tried to break the guidelines."

He added in an email sent to distant members: "In view of this instruction we have no alternative but to remove distant members from the BRS booking system with immediate effect.

"We do hope that you understand the action we have had to take. Each member that has a current booking will be phoned by the club to clarify the situation.

"I think we have been a pretty good model for golf clubs. We can’t police everybody. That’s not our job.

"We have put a lot of effort putting over our message about the 5km and it is a difficult message and also getting over all the protocols you have to put in place.

"You have to look at the infrastructure of the club and a golf club is more challenged now than it has ever been."

The Golfing Union of Ireland has warned golfers right from the start of the lockdown measures that they are required to comply with travel restrictions in order to continue playing the sport. 



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