On Wednesday morning, March 25, 2020 the following announcement came from the office of David Lehman, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD):
Golf Courses – Allow them to open subject to the below
** Clubhouses not open, outside portion of course open only
** For those who can walk, they should walk
** For those who cannot, one person per cart
Follow CSGA best practices – Pay online, players handle their own clubs, etc
Together with the DECD announcement, the CSGA published the following "Best Practices" as well as additional guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic:
CSGA Best Practices are as follows:
** Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet at all times over the entire property including parking and practice areas
** Respect of social distancing applies not only to fellow players but also to golf course employees
** Payments and transactions should be made online or by phone
** Restaurant facilities are closed or limited to take-out service only
** Flagsticks and holes should be adjusted (raised cup liner, pvc or foam insert, etc) so that cup and flagstick are not touched, players should be told not to remove or touch the flagstick
** No caddies, no bag handlers, players handle only their own equipment and should not pick up discarded items such as used tees or stray golf balls
** Sanitation of golf carts after use
** No distribution of scorecards or pencils
** Ball washers, rakes, benches, water coolers, used tee baskets and other commonly handled items on the golf course that can be removed should be removed. Players should also be told not to touch permanent structures such as rain shelters or benches that are permanently fixed
** Stakes marking penalty areas should not be touched
** Starting time intervals should be no less than 10 minutes, players waiting to play should not congregate, maintain social distancing at all times
** No shotgun starts
** If you do not feel well - stay home!
This list from both DECD and CSGA, while extensive may not be entirely comprehensive. If golf course operations develop additional methods of reducing or eliminating risk and keeping both players and staff safe, please institute those practices and share with others in the golf community.
With this announcement from DECD, golf can be played, and played safely in Connecticut during the COVID-19 pandemic. But only if everyone follows these guidelines at all times - especially maintaining strict adherence to social distancing.
It is also our opinion that any golfer who fails to abide by these guidelines should not be playing, and courses would be justified in expelling those who fail to follow these guidelines.
Get some fresh air...get some exercise...enjoy this new way of playing the game...and please be respectful of everyone's space, health and safety.