Adverse Weather Policy

Introduction

Vision
‘To provide ‘value’ to our members and visitors by having the course available to all categories of member, 365 Days a year, playing on main greens.’  

Clearly this is not possible but our course improvement strategy should bear this goal in mind as we look to improve such things as drainage, paths or green changes to maximise availability. 

 

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.

In order to meet our health and safety responsibilities members and visitors MUST take due care when deciding to play the course as it may not always be “officially” closed due to adverse weather.  It is recommended that members take personal responsibility and do not risk playing in adverse weather, to ensure both the safety of the individual and the safety of others.

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.  A Course Closure Decision Tree has also been produced to ensure consistency in any future decision making and is shown in the Appendix.

Conditions for Course Closure

  1. 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 and playing surfaces.  If temporary greens are in operation, then play will be permitted to continue in wet conditions. 

Note: A course inspection would 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.  If temporary greens are in operation, then play will be permitted to continue in frosty conditions. 

Please note that anyone deciding to play the course when frost is present does so at their own risk and will NOT be covered by our insurers should an accident occur.

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 on greens at these times, although the use of temporary greens can provide an alternate solution during winter season.

(c) Electrical Storms

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.

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 

This can be of variable density at different times and parts of the course and is therefore difficult to legislate for all circumstances. The Committee offers the following as a guideline only.

No Play should take place on the course if players cannot clearly see the landing area for their shots from the 1st tee.  Players should NOT tee off under these circumstances and should wait for the fog to lift/clear.

Whilst on the course players must use their own judgement on whether or not to continue to play based on the distances outlined above. When playing in fog or mist once a group has completed their shots, they should shout ‘Clear’ to allow game behind to play.  

Please note that anyone deciding to play the course when fog is present does so at their own risk and will NOT be covered by our insurers should an accident occur.

(e) Special Circumstances

Certain special circumstances may necessitate the total or partial (i.e. specific holes) closure of the Course, for example prevention of excessive wear when accessing or leaving greens, maintenance work and major project works, accidents, emergencies and/or police activity.

  1. Course Closure procedure.

Responsibility for Closure

The Club Captain or Vice-Captain, normally in consultation with the Head Greenkeeper and Club Professional, has the authority to close and re-open the Course.  In the absence of the Captain or Vice-Captain, this authority is delegated to the Greens Convener or other available Committee Members or to the Golf Professional on duty or Managing Secretary. When the Club Captain, Vice-Captain, Head Greenkeeper or Golf Professional are unavailable the action to close the course may be authorised by;

 

(a) The Greens Convener and available Greenkeeping staff member or

(b) Two members of the Management or Greens Committees.

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 at the Car Park, on the board at the 1st Tee, Club Twitter Account and Club Website have been updated.

(ii) The Club Office Staff, Club Professional, Clubhouse Staff are advised of the action taken.

(b) Whenever a competition is about to begin or is in progress, the official responsible for the decision to close course is to inform the Match Secretary 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 Professional shop.

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

Course Closure – Review Policy

(a) Flooding or Waterlogging of the Course

On a two hourly basis from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm in winter; and on a two hourly basis from 7.00 am to 4.00 pm in Summer.

(b) Lying Snow or Heavy Frost

At 8.00 am, 10.00 am and 12.00 noon 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 circumstances.