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Northern Ireland golf clubs preparing to reopen later this month



Golf in Northern Ireland could be back soon.

Golf in Northern Ireland could be back soon.

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Kevin Stevens

Kevin Stevens

Golf in Northern Ireland could be back soon.

The Ulster Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland will this week seek all clubs to sign up to a new protocol so the sport can return before the end of this month.

Kevin Stevens, the executive officer for the Ulster Branch, is quietly confident that the sport will be ready to be part of any UK-wide first phase of the easing of the lockdown, in the same way that golf is at the front of the queue in the Republic of Ireland, where clubs will open again on May 18.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the initial UK road map out of the coronavirus lockdown on Sunday and Stevens wants all clubs in Northern Ireland to be signed up and ready to go, in preparation for the green light for golf.

It is expected - just as it is in the Republic - that golf in Northern Ireland will start with members only taking part along with the necessary social distancing measures in place.

Stevens said: "We produced a report for the local Executive and we will have a protocol ready for clubs at the end of the week and all will have to sign up to that so they can open up again.

"We don't know the date yet, that's not within our gift, but we know that golf is one of those sports that will find it easier to return in the first phase of the easing of the lockdown and we believe we will meet the requirements that the government sets out in its statement.

"We have highlighted that it would be ideal for the clubs in Northern Ireland to open up at the same time as those in the Republic."

Belfast Telegraph