Category: Club News

Allen Park Golf Course

Good Morning Kenny


Thank you for contacting Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and for your interest in our facilities.  We are working in unprecedented times due to the impact of the global pandemic and essential services are the priority for the Council.

Following recent announcements by Northern Ireland Executive ministers regarding golf/angling, the Council will consider re-opening the facilities at its May meeting, scheduled for Tuesday 26th

Please refer to social media or the Council website for future updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Customer Services.



Richard Stewart
Allen Park & Ballyearl Manager
Allen Park Golf Centre, 45 Castle Road,
Antrim. BT41 4NA
T: 028 9334 1818

Golf to re-start on Wednesday 20 May 2020 in Northern Ireland


Please Note:  Allen Park Centre and Golf Course is still closed until Council issues fee invoices to members.  Hopefully this will be in the very near future.  It is important that all golfers abide by the Protocol agreed by the GUI and the Executive for the restarting of golf in N.Ireland.


Ladies & Gents

This is just to confirm that following discussion with the Dept of Health Press Office, the regulations will NOT be amended today and therefore, the legal basis for Clubs to open tomorrow, will not be established. It is envisaged that this will be completed tomorrow at some stage and accordingly Clubs should plan to open no earlier than Wednesday 20 May.

It is essential that club’s and club members follow the Northern Ireland Protocol for the “Safe Return of Golf”, Q&A and Member’s Video, that was issued on Saturday last. They are all available at We would ask that you circulate this video if you have not done so already, to your membership database – the direct link is;

Clubs should follow the link in the email that was issued by Alan Kelly to indicate their agreement to abide by the Protocol or go to the following;

As far as the NI Protocol is concerned. The answer to questions about whether or not our sport can be played using Social Distancing Guidelines has never been in doubt. The question of whether it would be played, upon re-start, in a manner commensurate with the requirements of Public Health Policy is a whole different issue.

In order, therefore, to embed the Protocol Guidelines and the need for Social Distancing, in particular, at all times in the sport, we have agreed that Step 1 will be for Members only, casual golf, played in a maximum of 3-balls using a 14 minute tee time interval.

The eyes not only of the sporting fraternity but those in wider society will be upon the sport as we re-start our game. We need to show, as one of the first sports to return from lockdown that we are capable of being, not only socially responsible but supportive of everything that is being done to combat COVID-19.

While the Northern Ireland Step by Step approach to the return from lockdown states, in Step 1, that between 4 & 6 people can meet, providing social distancing is in place, this is not the same as playing golf. The number of members who will potentially be around the clubhouse & car park as players leave the course, just as others start their round, is another issue to take into account. It is for this reason that the 3-ball rule must be followed in the first step. It is envisaged that this will change to 4-balls as we move into the second step, once social distancing has been embedded and the responsibilities of all golfers are more widely known. We hope that we will have your full support in this matter.

We should all remember that the change announced today could be reversed just as quickly, should the need arise, so let’s do nothing that could result in this outcome.

If you have any questions about the Protocol or any other matter, then please do not hesitate to contact me at or 07886 103713.

Kind Regards

Kevin Stevens
Executive Officer
Golfing Union of Ireland (Ulster Branch)
Unit 5 Forestgrove Business Park
Newtownbreda Road
Belfast BT8 6AW

Unions publish protocol for golf’s safe return in Northern Ireland

Joint communication from GUI and ILGU to all affiliated golf clubs

Note: This communication is for golf clubs in Northern Ireland only. Clubs in the Republic of Ireland should refer to previous emails and

 Unions publish protocol for golf’s safe return in Northern Ireland

  • Protocol sets out safe measures for golf to return in a phased manner
  • All clubs and golfers have a responsibility to ensure it is adhered to
  • Golf fortunate in being one of the first sports to resume during the pandemic

In the Northern Ireland Executive’s Step by Step Plan in so far as the relaxation of restrictions is concerned, Golf is listed as being in Step 1. We await confirmation from the Executive of an exact date when golf can re-commence, which will be using the protocol jointly published by the GUI and ILGU.
This Protocol is the basis on which the Unions and Golf Ireland sought the inclusion by the Executive of the resumption of golf in Step 1 of their plan.

As one of the first sports to be allowed to resume, there is a major responsibility on golf clubs and golfers to ensure that our sport is conducted in a safe and responsible manner. Full adherence to the provisions of this Protocol is absolutely essential.

It should be noted that the Executive continues to monitor the situation closely and have not ruled out the reintroduction of restrictions which could see golf clubs closed once again, if the Protocol is not followed.

The Protocol is aligned to the five steps of the Executive’s Pathway to Recovery and sets out how the restrictions on golf will be eased over the coming months. As the Executive have chosen not to produce indicative dates for change in the steps of their plan, we reserve the right to add or subtract from any phase of the Protocol. The current version will always be available at

Golf is in the very privileged position to be allowed to resume in the first step and this return has been based on the sport being able to demonstrate to government that it can take place in a safe, socially distant manner, which this Protocol achieves.

All clubs, golfers and staff have a shared responsibility to ensure the Protocol is adhered to. We ask that clubs pledge their commitment to implementing the protocol by signing up here:

We are aware that there are several other unofficial guidelines in circulation. It should be emphasised that clubs and golfers must exclusively adhere to the Protocol as published by the GUI and ILGU to ensure that we can continue to enjoy our sport in the times ahead.

The ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency remains our primary concern and overriding priority. The Unions acknowledge the tremendous efforts of all frontline workers which has allowed golf and society in general to consider this gradual return to normal life.

The Protocol is attached to this email and also available for download at

Alan Kelly

Communications & Academy Manager

Golfing Union of Ireland



In Preparation for getting back on to the golf course

—– Forwarded message —–
From: Golfing Union Of Ireland <>
To: “” <>
Sent: Wednesday, 13 May 2020, 15:30:12 BST
Subject: Video – Stay Safe on the Golf Course
VIDEO – Stay Safe on the golf course
NOTE: This applies to clubs in the  Republic of Ireland only at present. Further information for clubs in Northern Ireland will be made available as soon as possible.
As we prepare to return to the course, we have prepared a short video with some ideas on how to stay safe while playing.
The advice provided in the video is in addition to  the underlying public health guidance set out by the HSE and the Irish Government including any restrictions which apply on travel from home.

Watch the video on Facebook

Watch the video on Vimeo

Watch the video on Golfnet


Text Message received from Kevin Stevens (GUI)

To: Captain/Hon Secretary/Communications Officer:

Gents, this is just to advise that the message circulating on Whatsapp regarding golf starting again on Saturday,      2nd May, purporting to come from the GUI and ILGU is a FORGERY and the message is not correct.
We will advise, through the usual channels, as soon as it is safe and in accordance with government guidelines to do so.
Please feel free to contact me if you wish to check any matter in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kind Regards,

Kevin Stevens GUI

Message from the Club Captain

A message to all the members and fellow golfers of Antrim Golf Club .
Hi everyone,
As you all probably know this Saturday, 4th of April, was to be my Captain’s Drive In , but unfortunately, due to circumstances that are out of our control we can not go ahead with it.  I would like to take this opportunity to hope that everyone stays safe in this challenging time for us all.  If possible, please stay indoors and follow the safety guidelines that have been set out.  We will get through this and when things get better and settle down, I am looking forward to hitting the first drive.( probably hooked into the water on the first ).
Stay Safe,
David Glass (Captain)

Competition Vouchers

Hi All,

Just to let you know that the expiry dates on vouchers already issued will be extended by a few months, as most, if not all the businesses where they can be redeemed are closed.  When required, we will inform the retailers that the vouchers are valid despite the expiry date.

Keep safe.


Urgent Update from GUI – Golf Club Closures in N.Ireland

The following is a joint statement from the GUI and ILGU in relation to the current coronavirus pandemic, issued at 11.10am this morning.

Golf in Northern Ireland:

In its latest measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK Government has announced that everyone in the UK must now stay at home except in exceptional circumstances. The new measures state that people in the UK may only leave home:

  • to go to work (if you are a key worker)
  • to infrequently shop for groceries, medicine and other essentials
  • to exercise outside once a day
  • to provide care or help a vulnerable person
  • for any medical need

While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message is clear. People must stay at home to help to contain the spread of COVID-19.

With this in mind, it is the view of the GUI and ILGU that all golf clubs in Northern Ireland must close their facilities with immediate effect.

Such closures will have a significant impact on golf clubs and we continue to consult with industry partners to provide clubs with all information and support possible during this time of deep uncertainty.

We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the UK Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so.

For security and essential maintenance purposes, greenkeeping staff can still attend work. All work must be carried out in strict accordance with government guidelines on social (physical) distancing. Clubs should divide course staff into two teams where possible and if one becomes unavailable, the other team will still be okay to work.

Golf in the Republic of Ireland:

The GUI and ILGU have consistently reflected the advice of expert medical professionals in advising our member clubs.

It is anticipated that an update on the period of restriction will be made soon by the Irish Government, after which we will issue an updated statement in relation to golf in the Republic of Ireland.

You will appreciate that this is a very fluid situation with new developments almost daily. We will continue to liaise with the appropriate authorities, and will ensure that our clubs are kept informed as to recommended best practice at all times.


Alan Kelly

Communications & Academy Manager

Golfing Union of Ireland

Update on Course Closure

From the notice below from ANBC, it would appear that the golf course is available for members to use but that the clubhouse and all facilities including toilets and handwashing etc. will be closed.

It is especially important that any member who decides to go unto the course should adhere to Government and Public Health Agency guidelines regarding social distancing etc. and also to those issued by the GUI/ILGU regarding best behaviour on golf courses during this pandemic.

Keep safe everyone,


(Kenny Lee, Honorary Secretary)

Leisure Centre Closures

Notification for MORE Members – Update as of 1PM 19th March

Following the latest expert advice from the Government, Public Health Agency and Department for Health regarding increasing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s leisure, sports and cultural buildings are closed until further notice.

Monthly MORE membership fees (including adult, family, concession, corporate and staff memberships) will not be charged and direct debits will be frozen from 1st April 2020 until further notice.

Some of our MORE members may have received a pre-scheduled email advising that our leisure centres are still open, please disregard this information.
We apologise for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.

As with the Council’s other parks and open spaces, golf courses and the Antrim Stadium can be used. The buildings are closed and users should adhere to Public Health Agency advice about social distancing, handwashing etc. Please note, Play Parks will be closed from Friday (20 March) evening onwards.

For more information, including answers to our frequently asked questions, please visit


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