You may be thinking “what are the new rules at golf courses now that we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic?” or “what should I be doing to minimize my exposure to Covid-19 while golfing?” We checked at several golf course pro shops and the PGA website to get an idea of what the new rules are or at least what is recommended. If your local course is not following these rules, you may want to make them aware of the following best practices:
1) Minimize or eliminate the handling of any equipment on the course owned by the club and normally handled by every golfer. For example at one course they do not want you to pull the flags, just leave them in place. They also do not want you to pick up and handle the rakes to remove your tracks in the sand traps. These will be groomed by the staff at the end of the day.
2) Bring your own water bottles so you do not need to touch and drink from the public water fountains.
3) Most courses are not renting clubs as this creates too much extra work to sanitize them between rentals.
4) Participants are still paired into foursomes, however each player is required to ride alone in his cart. Rented carts are disinfected between rounds. If you live in the neighborhood, now is a good time to purchase a golf cart for your own use.
5) Keep the social distancing rules of 6 feet between people as in other public places. One course recommends a distance of 10 feet if it is windy.
6) Perform the normal cleanliness habits of not shaking hands, keeping anti-bacterial wipes handy or hand sanitizer just in case you need them, sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible, etc.
7) Face masks are not mandatory, however if you have allergies it might make sense to wear one to prevent allergens from entering your nose causing you to sneeze, and if you do sneeze, it shows courtesy towards the other players.