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KGU allows golfers to tee off, appeals for caution

Sunday June 21 2020
snow_pix

Greg Snow follows the progress of his tee from the 15th hole during the eighth leg of the Safari Tour at Muthaiga Golf Club on January 15, 2020. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LARRY NGALA

The Kenya Golf Union (KGU) has reinstated handicaps and, by extension, allowed golf competitions in the country to resume.

In a press statement released late on Saturday evening, KGU chairman, Anthony Murage, said he saw no need to continue with the ban on handicaps and the running of organised competition and golf reciprocation as long as clubs continue to observe the Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines.

Murage, in the statement sent to all the golf clubs, said the permission for clubs to hold competitions does not allowed golfers to use the services of caddies.

“I would like to thank you all for the cooperation that you have shown to help stop the rapid spread of the Covid-19. It has been a difficult time and it is noteworthy that you have all done your part in helping to stop the spread of the dreaded disease.

TRAFFIC OF GOLFERS

“In our letter of April 8, and the subsequent one of May 7, we suspended all handicaps and the running of competitions in all clubs in Kenya.

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“Seeing as majority of golf clubs have been able to control the traffic of golfers on their courses and after a lot consideration, the Kenya Golf Union sees no need to continue with the ban on handicaps, running of organised competitions and reciprocation,’’ further said Murage through the statement.

He added: “We would therefore like to reinstate handicaps in the country and allow competitions, as long as these are held with utmost care to avoid congregation of any kind.

“Clubs are advised to announce results of any competition using means that do not require golfers to congregate in the club house.

“Clubs are also now free to allow reciprocation or four balls if they are able to do so while maintaining the same due care.

“We would, however, like to reiterate that this permission to hold competitions does not allow golfers the use of caddies.’’

The KGU boss said the use of caddies was banned by the Ministry of Health and that KGU continues to consult the ministry on the safest way to resume the use of caddies in everyday golf.

DON'T HANDLE GOLF BALLS

But he said it was, however, acceptable to have spotters on the course to help golfers locate their balls as long as they (spotters) don’t handle the golf balls, clubs or bags and always maintain at least two club lengths away.

On KGU-sanctioned events such as the Kenya Amateur Golf Championship (KAGC) tournaments, Murage said it was up to the incoming KGU board to decide.

A board meeting will be held after July 6.

The chairman said clubs will have to find a way of announcing the winners of their events as congregation of more than 15 people is still not allowed.
He said that is a restriction by the Ministry of Health and has nothing to do with KGU.

He told club captains to get in touch with the Kenya Golf Union secretariat if they need any further clarification on this or any matter.

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