VICTORIAN golfers were allowed back on course from Wednesday May 13 with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions announced.
No doubt happy Victorians will be up bright and early (if maybe a little sodden according to weather forecasts) but there will be some playing and other hygiene restrictions going forward, as in other states.
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the state will take the first steps to come out of its stage three Covid-19 lockdown from midnight tonight.
A range of outdoor sports and activities will now be permitted, including golf.
It’s understood that golfers will be permitted to play in groups of four, provided strict distancing and hygiene protocols are followed.
Andrews said maintaining “common sense and good judgement” was critical in the next few weeks as the state assesses the impact of the newly relaxed rules, which primarily relate to permitting up to five guests in each household.
“We need to be vigilant in following a new set of rules,” he said.
“There will be a gradual opening up of the economy and relaxation of these rules, but each step, particularly this first step, has got to be cautious, safe and appropriate to the circumstances we are dealing with.”
Andrews said the new rules would be revisited again at the end of May, but insisted that Victorians “stay at home” and “work from home” wherever possible.
“These are small (but) significant steps. You only get one chance to get this right … the last thing we want to do is follow the example so many other countries have given us.
“If you relax too many rules too quickly, then we’ll find ourselves back here, and indeed worse, in a lockdown even harder than the one we’re coming out of.
Golf Australia chairman Andrew Newbold was happy to see golf back for Victorians.
“We really appreciate the patience our clubs and players have shown in these trying times,” Newbold said.
“It’s going to be exciting for all to get back on course or to your favourite facility, but we plead with all to follow distancing and hygiene guidelines in place.
“If they’re broken, we face a return to no golf and that’s clearly something we’d all like to avoid.”
Andrews said: “You might be able to play golf, but there won’t be rakes in the bunkers, people won’t be milling around the clubhouse and it will be shut – the list goes on,” he said.
Cold and wet weather is predicted for most of Victoria on Wednesday.