It is almost impossible to read any review of 2020 without the word ‘Covid’ or ‘virus’ appearing in the opening lines. That was the year we all had to endure and, as much as we have high hopes for 2021, the realists among us will know that there are several months of hardship ahead of us still.
This is as true in Ireland as it is anywhere.
We want golfers to return to this fantastic golf destination but those golfers will be thinking about how and when to visit, where to go, who to book with and what the implications will be of the vaccination programme – not just in Ireland but in their home country, too.
I particularly feel for those who had to postpone their 2020 golf trips and moved them to 2021. There must be a sense of desperation setting in.
If I had a crystal ball I would help you, I really would, but in the absence of such fortune telling powers I can do no more than direct you to the websites which will offer you the best and most up-to-date information:
This is Irish golf’s official governing body and they update their ‘News’ feed regularly to spell out what is happening, not just with Covid-19 but with Irish golf in general.
For Irish government guidelines, this is the official place to go. It is up to date but also spells out what is and isn’t allowed in our five tier structure.
There are plenty of online resources out there but the newsfeeds for www.irishtimes.com and www.irishexaminer.ie are definitely worth checking. The Irish Times allows you five free articles a week before you have to tackle their paywall. The Irish Examiner doesn’t have any restrictions presently.
The current feeling is that there will be mass vaccinations in Ireland in May to July, and that the country will be much more accessible to tourism from that point as a result. That's not to say golf won't be accessible before then but, as this virus has shown, lockdowns and restrictions can happen fast… and comprehensively, and some peace of mind later in the year might be exactly what you need.
All the same, businesses are following the relevant protocols so it is hoped we will be 'open for business' soon.
Remember, you will need a face mask (and I would recommend bringing several). Face shields don’t cut it unless worn with a mask. You are not allowed into shops (bars, restaurants, hotels included) unless you are wearing a mask.