Sherwood golf club insists it âplayed by the rulesâ
Sherwood golf club insists it ‘played by the rules’
Dante Navarro (Philstar.com) - September 18, 2020 - 11:40am

MANILA, Philippines – The Sherwood Golf and Country Club strongly denied it ever violated the IATF protocols on safety and health when it staged its “Members Day” last weekend, stressing it abided by the government rules, including on the size of the field allowed to play in areas placed under MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) such as Cavite.

It added the event was held to help remind members of their responsibility to the club in this time of the global health crisis and at the same time assist the club workforce, including caddies, in its continuing effort to support their livelihood hindered by quarantine restrictions.

Organizers used a shotgun-start style among 80 participants to get rid of the traffic and ensure physical distancing, citing “no IATF rule saying that there should be only 72 players in a game.”

Under the Omnibus Guideline from the Inter-Agency Task Force, amended on July 16, 2020, Section 5 (guidelines for areas under MGCQ), Paragraph 5 states that mass gatherings such as sporting events shall be limited to 50 percent of the venue capacity.

“What it limits are on ‘gatherings.’ It reiterates Resolutions 38, 43, etc., which says that ‘Mass gatherings such as xxx sporting events and other entertaining activities shall be allowed provided that participants shall be limited to 50% of seating or venue capacity. And we complied with that,” said SGCC president Harry Paltongan on an FB post.

He even issued a breakdown on the club seating capacities, including Veranda (200), Mulligan (30), Rayos (150) and Sonrisa (40), to deliver his point.

“We did not violate any IATF rule,” he stressed.

He added that there is no IATF rule saying that there should only 72 players in a game and there is none which prohibits a shotgun format or giving lunch or handing raffle items or naming an event as a tournament or ‘members day."

“We did the shotgun so there is no waiting time on holes 1 and 10 and instead we can right away distribute these 80 players in a 72-hectare golf course,” Paltongan said.

Meanwhile, the Members Day was also staged to fuel the sport back to life again.

“Players have been dwindling so we needed to invite them back — with some nice incentives (e.g. meals, raffles),” said Paltongan.

“Our caddies, crews, employees now have very significant income cut and we need more players to sustain their livelihood,” he added.

“In the end, all of us stakeholders, especially members and guests in the golf industry must find ways to fuel it back to life again. Out there in those clubs, the less privileged depend on us now,” said Paltongan.

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