COURSE CLOSURE POLICY


Introduction 
1.     Closure of the Golf Course may be necessary at certain times due to the state of the Course; prevailing weather conditions; or other special circumstances. This action is taken either to prevent damage to the Course or to ensure the safety of golfers and other persons on the Course. 


2.     The purpose of this document is to lay down the Club’s policy for Course Closure, to detail procedures for its implementation and to define and allocate responsibilities. 
Conditions for Course Closure


3.Action to close the Course may be taken for the following reasons: 


(a)     Flooding or Waterlogging of the Course Flooding or waterlogging of areas of the Course, in particular the greens, during or following heavy periods of precipitation may make the Course unplayable and to allow golfers onto the Course in such conditions may cause damage to the turf, playing surfaces and increase the risk of injury through slipping. 
Note: A good indicator of the need to close the Course at such times is when surface water appears or is lying on the 18th green or when the practice putting green in front of the Clubhouse is waterlogged. A Course inspection would, however, usually be needed to confirm this. 


(b)     Lying Snow or Heavy Frost Play is not possible when snow or heavy frost is lying on the Course and should not be permitted until all playing areas are clear. 
Note: Turf on the Course, especially on the greens, is particularly susceptible to damage when frozen sub-soil is thawing. Play should never be allowed at these times. 


(c)     Mandatory Course Closure For Electrical Storms and Fog Lightning strikes can present a major danger to golfers in the open on the Course. When thunderstorms are present or imminent positive action needs to be taken to ensure that golfers are aware of the danger, take shelter or leave the Course and that play is suspended promptly.
 Lightning Safety Tips


 Seek:
 •     A large permanent enclosed building.
 •     If no enclosed building is convenient, a vehicle such as a car or van is a suitable alternative.
•     If neither a building nor a vehicle is convenient, go to the lowest possible elevation area.
 
Avoid: 
•     Tall objects such as trees and poles. 
•     Small rain and sun shelters. 
•     Large open spaces, wet areas or elevated areas. 
•     All metal objects like golf clubs, trolleys, golf carts, fences, electrical and greenkeeping machinery, power lines. 

Other Tips if you cannot Evacuate in Time to a Safer Place: 

•     Spread out from the other people and their equipment in your group. 
•     Do not shelter under trees or evacuate the course by walking under trees 
•     Do not stand on high ground.
•     Keep as low as possible crouch down in the nearest bunker which is not flooded or seek lower ground.
•     Avoid standing in water. 
•     Do not put up an umbrella under any circumstances. 
•     Do not use mobile phones. 
•    Head for the safest place as soon as the immediate threat passes. 

Note: Thunderstorms can be heard from some distance and, on occasion, can be in the vicinity but not affect the Course. The person responsible for Course Closure must carefully observe the prevailing weather conditions (wind speed and direction, etc.) before taking action.

(d) Fog and Mist When fog reduces visibility to less than 200 yards Closure of the Course and the cessation of play will be necessary in the interests of the safety of players and course maintenance staff. 
Note: If the flag on the 1st green is not clearly visible from the clubhouse, this is a good indication that a Course Closure should be put in place. Visibility can, however, vary considerably on different parts of the Course. A full Course inspection may be necessary in some circumstances to confirm the need to close or re-open the Course. 


(e) Special Circumstances Certain special circumstances may necessitate the total or partial (i.e. specific holes) closure of the Course, for example maintenance and major project works, accidents, 
emergencies and/or police activity.


 Course Closure Procedure. 


4. Responsibility for Closure
 The Senior Greenkeeper, normally in consultation with the Course Chairman, has the authority to close and re-open the Course. In the absence of the Course Manager, this authority is delegated to the Senior Greens Staff on duty or to the Course Chairman. When neither Course Staff nor the Course Chairman is available the action may be authorised by (a) the Club Secretary; (b) or Club Captain.

 
5. Course Closure – Action to be taken


(a) Once the decision to Close the Course has been made, the official responsible for the decision is to ensure that: 


(i) The “Course Closed” sign is placed on the entrance to the Car Park, and 


(ii) The Course Conditions Information Line (0191 5342518) and Club Application have been updated; and
(iii) The Club Office Staff and Club Secretary are advised of the action taken.


(b) Whenever a major tournament or competition is about to begin or is in progress, the official responsible for the decision is to inform the event organiser at the earliest opportunity.


(c) If the reason for closure implies a threat or danger to golfers already on the Course, the official responsible for the decision is to take immediate action by sounding the klaxon, located in the Main Office, in terms of the Club’s Klaxon Policy. 


(d) When the Course is re-opened the official responsible for the decision is to ensure that the actions referred to in 5(a), (b) and (c) above are reversed. 


6. Course Closure – Review Policy


(a) Flooding or Waterlogging of the Course On a two hourly basis in Winter; and Summer.


(b) Lying Snow or Heavy Frost At 8.00 am, 11.00 am and 2.00 pm daily. 


(c) Electrical Storms On a half-hourly basis from commencement of the storm to conclusion of the storm. 
(d) Fog and Mist On an hourly or ad hoc basis, whichever is deemed most appropriate. 


(e) Special Circumstances On an ad hoc basis, depending on circumstance