Checklist for golf clubs and golfers during COVID-19

Prior to the game

  • Prioritise online services for entries, bookings, and scoring
  • Take payments using contactless means or online prior to the game
  • Players with any colds or coughs or any symptoms of Covid-19 should be asked not to play
  • Locker rooms should be closed to avoid players being near each other. Allow the changing of shoes in the car park
  • Avoid using PSI terminals
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning public areas (including door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and have continued the use of disinfectant
  • Putting green closure should be considered for larger events
  • Greenkeepers should remove pins from practice putting greens
  • Golf buggies should be taken out of use or used by single individuals and cleaned afterwards

On the course

  • Insist on social distancing (2-metre rule) on tee grounds, greens and throughout the rounds
  • Golfers should consider playing in smaller groupings – ie two balls – to adhere to help with social distancing.
  • Remove rakes and any other pieces of course furniture that golfers may touch (including ball washers and bins) – the greenkeeper team will prepare the course, and where possible, re-rake bunkers during the day. Golfers can wipe their own golf balls on a towel
  • No divot bags provided
  • Drinking fonts and ball cleaners taken out of play
  • Air lines for cleaning shoes following the round should be closed
  • Golfers should only pick their own ball up
  • Avoid picking up a lost ball from another golfer
  • Consider raised putting cups (inch above surface) to avoid contact with the cup or flag stick
  • Do not share any equipment, such as golf clubs or rangefinders
  • Don’t shake hands before or after your game
  • Have hand sanitisers available as golfers leave the golf course

After the game

  • Handling of scorecards is a vulnerability, especially for staff members tasked with checking cards and finalising results. Arrange for this to be done online where possible
  • Adjust your catering provision to reduce physical contact through greater space between seating in the clubhouse if possible
  • Use disposable plates and cups, have hand washing facilities available on every table
  • Hand sanitisers should be made available throughout the clubhouse
  • Regular changing of towels in bathrooms (advice recommends every hour) would be required and regular cleaning of surfaces including door handles
  • Society bookings where food and social interaction is involved afterwards should be limited in accordance with the latest guidance
  • Follow Government advice as mandatory closure of clubhouses may be introduced in the coming days

General advice

  • Indoor, social aspects of golf club life should be curtailed based on expert advice on social gatherings
  • Golfers suffering from or showing symptoms of the COVID-19 infection must self-isolate and stay away from their golf club. The length of time spent in self-isolation should be in line with government recommendations
  • Vulnerable groups or those with underlying health issues should heed government advice to self-isolate
  • Golf clubs should prominently display public health posters available via the NHS England website in all washrooms and at entrances to the course and clubhouse. These posters should act as a reminder to follow the 20-second handwashing techniques recommended by Public Health England.
  • Golf clubs should consider installing extra hand sanitizers around their facility, on or near teeing areas and practice areas
  • Golf club staff and volunteers – while taking precautions for their own health such as wearing protective gloves – should carry out regular cleaning of surfaces and door handles used by patrons. Where possible doors should be left ajar
  • Clubs may wish to offer a takeaway service for food to minimise the need for social contact
  • Clubs should consider increased the spacing between tee times to prevent the bunching of groups
  • Golf clubs should desist from holding group coaching sessions. Careful consideration should be given to individual coaching based on expert advice on social distancing
  • A review of how practice balls are dispensed and cleaned is also recommended

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