Gents Notes w/e Sun 14th March 2021

Happy St Patricks Day
We would like to wish all our members a happy and safe St Patrick’s Day.
A parade, a putt and a pint would be nice but let’s all Stand Firm until we can celebrate together before too long.

One week Closer
The waiting game goes on but at least we are moving closer to the proposed date for the lifting of Level 5 restrictions on April 5th. There is still a large amount of uncertainty as to when golf clubs will reopen. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the hope is still that rules limiting construction, outdoor activities and travel restrictions can be eased next month. However, he told Virgin Media “reopening on April 5th of any sort won’t be possible if we go in the wrong direction in terms of case numbers”. He said the Government would tell people in the week of March 29th what restrictions can be softened the following week. The measures currently under consideration are an easing of the 5km travel limit, a staggered return of construction and allowing people to meet outdoors.
With the current Level 5 measures in place until April 5th it is hoped, as was the case last year, that golf will be included in the first easing of lockdown. If that was to happen and the Government permitted courses to reopen from April 5th it would mean golf courses in the Republic will have been closed for a total of 189 days since last March – exactly 27 weeks.

Regardless of the reopening date course maintenance is essential and I can tell you that our course crew are working tirelessly to ensure the course is ready when required. As in previous reopenings, this one will also be on a phased basis starting with members only, with a gradual return to competitive golf as conditions allow. We will keep you informed as we receive information and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible.

Golf Ireland announces season schedule for 2021
The following is a section of a recent announcement by Golf Ireland issued on March 9, 2021. The full article can be read by logging on to www.golfireland.ie

Golf Ireland has today released its fixture list for 2021, which seeks to provide a comprehensive array of competitions for all levels. 
The COVID-19 pandemic has once again had an impact on the start of the season, but Golf Ireland’s plan is to adapt by starting the championship season no earlier than the end of May, with many events rescheduled for what is hoped to be a busy autumn period. 
Several national championships have been moved from their traditional dates as part of this response – with the Irish Women’s and Girls’ Amateur Open Championships now set for 15-17 October in Co Louth, the same weekend as the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open Championship, which will take place at The European Club.  
Meanwhile, the draws for inter-club competitions will be conducted by Golf Ireland’s four Regions over the next fortnight, and published later this month, with the intention of commencing no earlier than the middle of May, subject to public health restrictions. 
This season’s inter-club competitions will see a return of the foursomes format to events that have traditionally been played in such a way, with special safety measures to be communicated to competitors in advance of the start of the competitions. 
Mark Wehrly, Director of Championships with Golf Ireland, said: “We know that golf is a low-risk activity and are hopeful of a return at club level for our sport very soon, after which we will look to progress towards running our competitions throughout the summer and autumn. 
“We’re very grateful to all of our host clubs for their forbearance and continued enthusiasm in helping us to achieve this. At such a difficult time for everyone in the industry, it is a testament to them that we are able to present such a comprehensive fixture plan for the year ahead. 

Contact the Office
Anyone wishing to contact the office regarding subscriptions or other matters is reminded that they can contact the office on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10 a.m and 11a.m Phone 058 43216
Impact of WHS on 2021 Inter Club Competitions
Jimmy Bruen Shield 2021
To be eligible, players must have a handicap index of no less than 3.5 on 1 January 2021.
For a pair to be eligible, their handicap indexes on 1 January, when added together, must not be lower than 14.0.
A pair consisting of a player with an index of 6.9 and a player with an index of
7.1 on 1 January 2021 is eligible.
A pair consisting of a player with an index of 6.5 and a player with an index of 7.4 on Jan 1, 2021 is ineligible

Pierce Purcell Shield 2021
To be eligible, players must have a handicap index of no less than 10.5 on 1st January 2021.
For a pair to be eligible, their handicap indexes on 1 January, when added together, must not be lower than 25.0.
A pair consisting of a player with an index of 11.9 and a player with an index of
13.1 on 1 January 2021 is eligible.
A pair consisting of a player with an index of 11.5 and a player with an index of
13.4 on 1 January 2021 is not eligible.
All games are played off scratch.

Measures for 2021 The Transition Board of Golf Ireland has been considering the best way to plan for Inter-Club matches in 2021 due to the current health guidance and restrictions around sporting activity and associated gatherings. As a result, it has been decided that all 2021 Inter-Club matches will be held on a home & away basis until the Area Final. For clarity, this will mean one leg matches only, i.e. where there are five matches – three will be home & two away; where there are three matches – two will be home & one away etc. It is felt that this approach is prudent and appropriate due to the ongoing uncertainty in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic
Stay Safe and Talk to Someone
It looks like it will be a while before we are back playing golf. In the meantime we would ask you to comply with Covid guidelines and minimize your contacts. You might however consider calling a friend or acquaintance for a chat. Apart from the golf, people are also missing the social side of club membership. So make that call and it could mean a lot to someone who is feeling lonely at this time. Spring is in the air and with the vaccine on the way we can cautiously look forward to an end to the pandemic.