State golf association clarifies its sport in COVID-19 times

State golf association clarifies its sport in COVID-19 times

From the Coronavirus collection: March 22 through April 15 series
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The New York State Golf Association said Thursday that golf can go on during the coronavirus pandemic, but with modifications.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the PAUSE Executive Order, which went into effect on Sunday. That stated that all non-essential businesses and non-essential gatherings of any size should close or be canceled.

According to the NYSGA, the Governor’s office and regional Empire State Development directors recently provided some clarification.

Golf courses are allowed to remain open, but must implement all CDC- and state-mandated guidelines, and promote safe, social distancing. There is to be no access to pro shops, locker rooms, indoor facilities and restaurants/bars (unless for take-out purposes only).

Social distancing on the golf course should include:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others
  • Don’t shake hands before or after your game
  • Leave the flagstick in the hole
  • Don’t use rakes, ball washers and coolers from course
  • Don’t share clubs or any other equipment
  • If using a golf cart, limit to one person

Due to the unique COVID-19 precautions taking place at golf courses, the USGA has provided guidance on how to use the flexibility provided in the Rules of Golf while protecting public health. They also provided temporary guidance on posting scores to GHIN (begins in upstate New York on April 15), specifically when golfers don’t “hole out” for health/safety reasons.


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