Upton by Chester Golf Club

[Course Closure Policy


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. The aim of Upton Golf Club is to keep course closures to an absolute minimum and closure will be the last resort. Our programme of course improvements in paths and drainage seeks to maximise availability.

Conditions for Course Closure

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

(a) Flooding or Waterlogging 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. Note: A good indicator of the need to close the Course at such times is when surface water appears or is lying on the 17th green. 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, although the use of temporary greens can provide an alternate solution.

(c) Electrical Storms Lightning Upon hearing the sounding of the klaxon to signify poor weather conditions, all golfers must vacate the course immediately and return safely back to the clubhouse.

Outside of Professional Shop hours, if the golf player(s) feel there is the risk of thunder and lightning, please vacate the course swiftly and safely. Players continuing to play at such times, do so at their own risk.

As a guide, we strongly suggest: -

Do NOT use any shelters on the course.

Do NOT stand under any overhead power lines.

Do NOT shelter under trees or on any high ground.

Do NOT walk under trees when making your way off the course.

Do NOT use your mobile telephone.

Do NOT put up your umbrella under any circumstances

(d) Fog and Mist. Where fog is present the visibility can be different dependent upon where you are on the course. Course status shall be determined at the start of play/day under the Head Greenkeeper’s normal procedure. All staff and golfers must adhere to this decision regarding any course closure.

As a guide for the decision the hedge behind the 1st Green must be clearly visible from behind 1st Championship tee. The Head Greenkeeper and Professional shop liaison will continue during any closure to determine next inspection and potential re-opening of the golf 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.


Decisions on the golf course condition and subsequent play will be made by the Head Greenkeeper or his Deputy. In their unlikely absence, decisions can be made by the Professional or Course Director.

In an attempt to make the course available throughout the year as often as possible we operate 6 Categories of Opening with restrictions. Our objective and legal requirement is to give access to the Course to disabled Buggy users whenever we can - provided it is safe and the Buggies are not going to cause long term damage that will not recover naturally.

The Opening Status will be selected following Inspection to assess whether the course is safe to use; whether use will cause lasting damage to the course and will consider the Course Health and Safety Risk Assessment.

The Risk Assessment covers the safety requirements and indicates any course closure or restrictions to course Access. Restriction could then apply based on ‘playability’ of the course (e.g., flooding) or ‘excessive damage’ to the course.

Inspections will typically occur by 7:30 or 1st light in winter months. The Course Information Status will be updated on IG to reflect the Option in use and any other information. If inspection is delayed or further inspections are planned in the day – this will be made clear in the Course Information message ASAP.

Any questions or suggestions regarding this policy and its implementation should be sent to the Greens committee or Captain.

Greens Staff Assessment Criteria

Note this Guidance is related to ‘The Course Only’ and does not cover the Car Park or Club House area. Green-staff will not be closing the course because the condition of the Car Park. For example because the Car Park is ‘Slippery’.

It is the responsibility of Golfers, as per the Golfers Course Risk Assessment, to drive and walk with extreme care in ALL areas when on UGC property including Car Parks, Paths, Practice Areas and the Golf Course.

Step 1 – Safety Assessment

The 1st step will be based on the Course Risk Assessments, this covers the health and safety requirements and indicates what actions to take with regard to course closure and restrictions and buggy use.

Note: The Course Risk Assessment requires Golfers to wear the appropriate Footwear – therefore there is no requirement to close the course if the Ground is slippery. If there are areas of concern then consider routing Golfers away from these areas with either ropes, signs or closed Holes.

Step 2 – Course Playability

Is the course playable? Is it water logged, covered in snow? Can the Pins be moved to high spots? Are some holes playable? – could we make a ‘restricted’ course available – bypassing flooded holes? Look to find best options to make as much of the course available as possible.

Step 3 – Course Damage

Restrictions on course availability should be made on the basis of damage to the playing area where the damage is likely to reach a level that it will not recover ‘naturally’. For example the area will require re-seeding, re-turfing or remedial work to correct compaction to restore it to its normal state.

Before making restrictions or closure decisions based on possible damage, ensure you have considered and implemented all the options below.

• Fencing off damaged areas before they will require remedial action.

• Restricting holes in play ie 1-12, 1-6 and 7-18 Etc.

• Temporary greens for some or all the greens

• Use of mats on tees – or moving tees in front of the normal teeing areas.

• Closure or shortening of specific holes

• Asking Golfers to walk in the Rough

• Placing Pins at the back or front of the greens

Step 4 - Update the Course Information Status on IG

This should be done as soon as possible and typically no later than 7:30am or shortly after 1st light in the winter. This should also include notices on the 1st Tee and/or club entrance as required.

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