COVID-19 MEMBERS UPDATE
Members COVID-19 Update
Subject: Update on re-opening the clubhouse.
Date: 29th May 2020
Clubhouse to remain closed in the short term.
The State Government has announced the easing of restrictions that apply to both the Hospitality
Industry and Clubs who provide a food service from June 1st. The conditions associated with the easing
of restrictions have been detailed in a handbook which provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for
relevant organisations. Having read the handbook the club has decided to wait until the next review
(set for June 22nd) before opening the clubhouse for after golf activities. In brief, the requirements for
open would place such a drain on our human resources that we simply do not think we could
manage the workload and complete the existing tasks (such as the building works and preparing for
the operation of the Golf Shop from July 1st)
Below is a summary of the key actions required for re-opening which have contributed to our decision.
● Members would only be able to attend the clubhouse for after golf refreshments if they were
served with a meal. (not a snack, which is clearly identified, but not detailed in the guidelines). This
means you can’t “just come in for a drink” after your game of golf or bowls, you would need to
have a meal in order to have refreshments. This regulation is obviously aimed at restaurants &
café’s which makes sense, but its much harder for clubs to implement that are not geared up for
this type of food service.
● A maximum of 20 members per separate space, with no more than one member per four meters
of floor space. Essentially, we would have been able to have forty members in two spaces at any
● Provide table service only which means someone needs to take your order and deliver the food &
drinks. You would not be able to order or collect food & drinks from the bar.
● All members would need to be recorded as they enter and leave the premise.
● We would need to undertake a deep cleaning of the premises and implement hygiene and
● After each patron/table leaves, ensure each surface including seats and tables are thoroughly
● All staff would need to be provided with a copy of the guidelines and at least one staff member
would complete the Vic Gov Coronavirus training.
Whilst we acknowledge that these requirements are almost certain to be the indefinite normal,
adopting them on Monday June 1st is simply a bridge too far. We appreciate your understanding, we
are doing all we can to re-open the clubhouse as soon as possible.
Subject: Update on playing golf
Date: 14th May 2020
Dear Golfing Member,
Yesterday, the members of Bairnsdale Golf Club returned to playing golf with tremendous eagerness and most importantly an adherence to the new conditions. Since our initial correspondence there have been quite a few questions and an opportunity for the club to gauge the practicality of our approach. From this, we are able to provide some further information.
Next Wednesday May 20th to Sunday May 24th Time-sheets will be available for bookings from 3pm Friday May 15th (tomorrow).
The Time-sheets for Monday May 25th to Sunday May 31st will open 8 days prior to the date which is the same system we used prior to COVID-19.
Single tee starts.
A number of members have asked why we aren't running two-tee starts. The predominant reason is to avoid surpassing the maximum outdoor gathering of 10 people. If we run a one tee start, we only have two groups (8 people) milling about the clubhouse and putting green at any one time. If we run a two tee start that becomes 16 players which breaches the stage one regulations.
10th tee to be used as starting hole.
All play will commence from the 10th tee whilst we are using a single tee starting system (as from Wednesday May 20th ). This will make it easier for members to grab a bite to eat or drink and/or use the toilets after 9 holes.
The formats for competitions from Wednesday May 20th to Sunday May 31st will be:
Wednesday Womens only comp, stableford 8am – 11am (no social play within these times)
Thursday Mens only comp, stableford 8am – 1pm (no social play within these times)
Friday 9 hole pro-shop comp (social play available all day)
Saturday Medley stableford (Men & Women in same comp) 8am – 1pm (no social play within these times)
Sunday Mixed (Mens & Women separate comps) 8am – 1pm (social play only available between 8:30am and 10am and after 1pm)
Monday No competition, social play all day.
Tuesday Medley stableford (Men & Women in same comp) 8am – 12pm (social play all day.)
Depending on the competition, we will apply the usual prize and grade templates.
As an example, the Wednesday women's comp will follow the grade and prize breakdown for a women's comp listed in the syllabus.
Adjustment to the competition end time of 12:30pm.
Ideally we would like all 18-hole competition players to start before 1pm (in applicable comps) but based on the volume of players its proving difficult to achieve. Therefore if you are entered just after 1pm you will still be allowed tom play in the comp. However, keep in mind that teeing off after 1pm will make it hard to complete your round before dark.
Practice Range use.
All golfers (members and public) can use the driving range without playing golf, just so long as there are no more than 10 on the range at any one time. We are not running a booking system, but we do suggest a call to the golf shop prior to heading down. Its also advisable to avoid peak competition times if you are only practising.
From Wednesday May 20th we will be trialling a food service from the BBQ area (on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). We are still working through the details of what and how but its will likely incorporate a pre-order system and a grab and go option.
Green fee players and Members guests.
Whilst we are running a single tee start and have limited tee off availability, we can not allow members to bring guests (in competition fields) on Thursday or Saturday. Members can however bring guest in the Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday competition fields. Green fee players will be able to play in the social times as from mid next week.
On behalf of:
The Committee of Management.
Return to playing golf conditions
Date: Tuesday May 12th 2020
Subject: COVID-19 Members Update
Date: 14th April 2020
Following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by the Victorian Government, the Bairnsdale Golf Course will open for golf from 8am Wednesday May 13th . Whilst this is tremendous news for the members, the club and the golfing community, there are still significant conditions which will apply to the manner in which we participate. The obvious mandatory social distancing regulations apply as well as new regulations relating to gatherings of more than 10 people or less. It's critical that all members and golfers adhere to the existing and below regulations, not only for health and safety reasons, but for the continuation of our sport. It's our information that the local police will be more than willing to fine players and clubs in the event of a breach.
Bookings for the next seven days will be open from 3pm today (Tuesday May 12th ). You can place a booking by using the online booking system or by calling the golf shop or office. To book by phone, the golf shop will only be open from 8am to 3pm Monday - Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturday & Sunday. Bookings are mandatory for both member social and competition games, under no circumstances will roll-ups be permitted to play and will be turned away regardless of availability.
Arrive to the first tee no more than 10 minutes before your tee off time, if you plan on warming up on the range prior to play, try to time your warm up so that you have no more than 10 minutes between the range and teeing off.
Membership category restrictions still apply. For example, 3-day members can only play on Monday Tuesday and Friday and Non Competition members can only play outside of traditional competition times.
For the foreseeable future, we will be utilising a single tee start from the first tee.
The course will be open every day for tee off between 8am and 3pm. Under no circumstances can play commence before 8am or after 3pm. Member social play can be played anytime between 8am and 3pm, seven days a week. The course is only open to members for the first seven days, green fee players will be allowed on the course once we have a good understanding of the demand for peak days and times.
Whilst playing golf
Do not remove and avoid touching flags. A foam noodle has been placed at the bottom of each cup making it easy to retrieve your ball without touching the flag.
Bunker rakes have been removed, you can choose to prefer your lie in a bunker within a hand-span for no penalty. When you exit a bunker, please smooth it over with your club or foot as best you can.
Ball washers and drinking fountains must not be used and have been isolated.
Competitions for the next seven days will follow the below formats, these are designed to provide maximum access to all of our members:
Monday No competition
Tuesday 18 Hole Medley Stableford Competition between 8am and 12:30pm
Wednesday 18 Hole Medley Stableford Competition between 8am and 12:30pm
Thursday 18 Hole Medley Stableford Competition between 8am and 12:30pm
Friday 9 Hole (Front 9) Pro Shop Competition between 8am and 3pm
Saturday 18 Hole Medley Stableford Competition between 8am and 12:30pm
Sunday 18 Hole Medley Stableford Competition between 8am and 12:30pm
** A Medley competition is a single competition for both men and women. As an example, there wont be a women's competition on Wednesday or a mens competition on Thursday, both days will have a medley which allows for both genders to play on the same day, in the same competition.
0-60 players 1 grade
61-90 players 2 grades (Evenly split into 50% of the field in each grade)
91 + 3 grades (Evenly split into 33% of the field in each grade)
Ball run to be 25% of the field, PLUS an additional four balls to offset the lack of the NTP's.
Results of each days competition will most likely be processed and released the morning after the competition completes.
After you have completed your game and submitted your score (if playing a competition) please leave the club without delay.
Please refrain from handshaking after the game and avoid betting in a physically transferable currency. Do not select betting partners by throwing golf balls into the air or any similar sharing method.
The club's driving range is open as per usual operations, range balls can be purchased at the golf shop. The range will be limited to a maximum of ten people at any one time. The practice putting green is also open, this is restricted to four people at any one time.
Alcohol will not be available for purchase from the golf shop. We also remind members that BYO is not an option so please do not bring alcohol onto the premises.
For the first seven days, fresh food such as salad rolls will not be available, however we are working on a system beyond the first week.
Golf carts can be used by two people if they live under the same roof, otherwise single use only. There no golf carts for hire at the club.
Those members that still have outstanding credits at the golf shop, must use it before the close of business Sunday June 14th . Any credit left with the golf shop after June 14th will be forfeited.
At the time of writing, there is no further information on the Bowls Victoria website relating to re-opening the greens. As soon as information is released, we will advise our bowling members.
Despite the volume of restrictions, we are very grateful for the opportunity to return to play and look forward to seeing you on the course. We would also like to point out that the above conditions will be reviewed regularly as per the State Governments position and the clubs gathered experience.
On behalf of:
The Committee of Management.
Date: Monday May 11th 2020
As you may have already seen or read, Victoria is lifting some of the restrictions relating to sporting activities.
We can confirm that Golf will be permitted from Wednesday morning the 13th of May. At this stage, Bowls Victoria have not advised either way, but they have committed to provide further information tomorrow (via the Bowls Victoria Website).
We are working through the best format and conditions for play and will provide a full release tomorrow morning.
We look forward to seeing everyone back out on the course as soon as possible.
Date: Thursday April 2nd 2020
UPDATE TO MEMBERS RE THE CLOSURE OF OUR CLUB
Further to our decision made on Friday 27th March 2020 to close our club to competition and social golf, I wish to update all members on the latest advice from Golf Australia dated 31st March 2020 and further update you on decisions made by our Committee of Management (COM) since then.
There are significant financial penalties for business operators and individuals who do not adhere to Victorian Government rules relating to COVID-19 or coronavirus regulations.
• Impact to the club due to the closure: Several members have expressed their concern for the club’s welfare and long-term survival as a result of the closure and we certainly appreciate the offers of support. The exact financial impact is very difficult to forecast. We can quantify the loss of revenue from competition fees, green fees, bar and catering revenue but the exact impact to membership and sponsorship are guesses at best. We know that the impact to this financial year’s cash position if we are closed for the remaining three months will be approximately $50,000 - $70,000. This level of cash impact won’t see the club in any significant financial distress; however, it will affect our infrastructure upgrade plans and our short-term operations once we re-open. We also know the longer we are closed the worse the impact becomes, especially when considering the next financial year membership and ongoing sponsorship revenue. Government assistance via the JobKeeper scheme and other business grants are welcome, but at the time of writing not confirmed or detailed in entirety.
• Club operations: At present, the club is still operating on a limited basis. The three course staff are working full time and about to commence some fescue works, the Pro-Shop and Bar are closed and the office has limited attendance. Going forward, the above-mentioned Federal Government JobKeeper scheme is likely to play a key role in the attendance of staff as is the applicable government staged Coronavirus restrictions. Our valued staff have been well supported by Management and they have shown tremendous resilience and return support through these uncertain times.
• Director of Golf position: As you are aware, the club was in the process of appointing a Director of Golf (Head Professional) to commence as an employee of the club on July 1st 2020. Unfortunately, the uncertainty created by Coronavirus has led to a deferment of appointing someone to the role. This is extremely disappointing as we had reached the shortlisting and interviewing stage. From the initial group of applicants, the club had shortlisted four excellent candidates and to their disappointment, all have been notified of the deferment. Once operational and financial certainty returns, the club will reactivate the appointment process.
• Support for members directly affected by the Coronavirus: If you are experiencing financial difficulty as a direct result of the Coronavirus and are therefore struggling to afford club membership, we encourage you to contact the club office.
• Member access to the club: Whilst the current restrictions don't allow members to play golf or bowls, the opportunity still exists for members to collect their property if stored at the club. We have already scheduled two occasions that members could attend and collect equipment or attend to their motorised vehicles. The gate will be open on Friday 3rd April 2020 from 9-11am if any member wishes to collect property from the club. If you are going to attend the club, please notify the club beforehand.
• We continue to be guided by Golf Australia, Bowls Australia and similar governing bodies such as the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association and the P.G.A.
◦ From the start of this crisis, the club has relied heavily on the advice from its governing bodies. These governing bodies have been of great assistance and have communication channels to government that the club simply doesn't have access to. The latest advice from Golf Australia & Bowls Australia are located below:
▪ Golf Australia - https://www.golf.org.au/covid-19
▪ Bowls Australia – https://www.bowls.com.au/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-to-ba-members/
I wish to sincerely thank the many members who have contacted the management team and myself offering their support personal and if necessary financial support during these difficult times.
We all look forward to reopening our club to members and visitors at the earliest opportunity and I respectively request that our terrific member base bear with us during these extremely difficult times.
We will advise members of any regulation changes as they are received
Date: Friday March 27th 2020
At 7:50pm this evening, the club received notice from Golf Australia that recommends all Victorian Golf Clubs close as soon as practicable.
For the duration of this pandemic, the Bairnsdale Golf Club has relied upon its governing bodies for advice and headed all warnings and we intend to continue with this strategy.
It is with considerable sombre that I inform all members and public golfers that the Bairnsdale Golf Club will be closed for all operational purposes including social golf rounds as from 9:00pm tonight, Friday March 27th 2020.
The front gate will be chained closed from tomorrow.
There are bound to be many questions from our loyal golfers, over the next week we shall continue to correspond via Facebook and Email.
Let’s hope for a speedy return to normality, please stay safe and adhere the government regulations.
Bairnsdale Golf Club