NYSGA Updates Regarding COVID-19
(Updated on July 8) - The NYSGA has been closely monitoring all information and updates regarding COVID-19 and the impact the situation has on the golf industry.
NYS Interim Guidance For Sports & Recreation
The NYS Department of Health published interim guidance on June 18th for sports and recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Golf is classified as one of the "lower risk" sports and recreation activities.
According to this guidance, responsible parties at all golf courses and driving ranges should ensure players adhere to the following additional safety measures:
- Limit tee times to four players, except for members of the same household;
- Restrict use of golf carts to single riders or members of the same family/household only, unless a physical barrier that does not impede visibility or operation of cart is in place. Cleaning and disinfection are required between each party's use.
- Keep golf bag in possesion, when possible;
- Consider using remote check-in, with advance tee time reservations
- Process payment of greens fees in a contact-free manner at the time of play by credit card and debit card only (ex. no cash) to the extent possible; courses should make efforts to take phone payments in advance.
- Prohibit the use of bunker rakes (except by employees/maintenance staff), ball washers and water coolers;
- Permit golf pros on the course, provided they do not touch players and keep six feet of distance at all times, unless wearing a face covering or are seperated by a physical barrier;
- Prohibit common use of tees/scorecards/pencils/ball markers among non-household members, unless such items are cleaned and disinfected between use;
- Only allow club and equipment fentals if it is cleaned and disinfected before and after player use; and
- Post messaging and facility signage to reflect interim rules of use.
A coalition of golf's leading organizations (We Are Golf) have established "Back2Golf", a three-phased plan outlining operational guidelines leading to the responsible return of golf during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines were established in a partnership between the USGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour, LPGA, NGCOA, CMAA, and GCSAA and adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.
NYSGA Tournament Updates
Due to the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, on June 1st the NYSGA canceled the NYSGA Amateur Series and several NYS Championships. On July 8, the NYSGA announced the cancellation of the remaining 2020 championships due to travel restrictions for competitive events in NYS.
Rules & Handicapping Guidance
Due to the unique COVID-19 precautions taking place at golf courses around the country, the USGA has provided guidance on how to use the flexibility provided in the Rules of Golf while protecting public health. It is important to note that during this time, the USGA is temporarily allowing scores to be posted while golf courses make modifications that would not normally comply with Rules of Golf or Rules of Handicapping. Golfers should post their score immediately following their round either on the GHIN Mobile App or GHIN.com. No scores should be posted using a Score Posting Kiosk at a course, as the facilities should be closed.
Seminars on the Rules of Golf and World Handicap System will not be offered at member clubs this spring, due to the current status of COVID-19.
Below is a list of information from various state, local and golf-related organizations on COVID-19.
State & Local Government
- CDC Information - COVID-19
- NYS on PAUSE Executive Order
- NYS DOH Interim Guidance on Sports and Recreation
- ESD Guidance on Executive Order 202.6
- NYS Dept. of Health
- NYS Parks
- We Are Golf: Back2Golf Operations Playbook
- USGA Rules and Handicapping Guidance - COVID-19
- USGA Green Section COVID-19 Resources
- Club Management Association of America (CMAA) - Coronavirus and Pandemic Viruses
- Golf Course Superintendents Assication of American (GCSAA) - COVID-19 Pandemic Resources
- National Club Association (NCA) - Coronavirus: What Clubs Need to Know
- National Golf Foundation (NGF) - COVID-19 Resource Center
- National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) - Coronavirus and Your Golf Business