State

Is It Safe To Play Golf Amongst The COVID19 Times?

The past several months have been a whirlwind to say the least. COVID19 has made us really think about good sanitary habits for not only ourselves but for people who may come in our presence. There is a place for these habits to continue on the golf course as well. Here are several basic health practices to follow while out on the course according to Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in which is worthy of being shared.

Best Practices & Social Distancing

  • Skipping the driving range. Stretch & practice your swing in an open area, Give yourself a few strokes on the first hole.
  • Avoid handshakes/High fives throughout the round. Try elbow/foot bumps, bow, or club taps.
  • Bring hand sanitizer in your bag/cart and use it frequently. Wipe down commonly touched areas on the cart and your club grips.
  • Do not golf if you have a ‘head cold’ or are feeling sick at all.
  • Practice social distancing on tee boxes, fairways, and greens of about 6FT. Try to take your own cart to implement ‘social distancing’ strategy or just walk.

Tips from Fernandina Beach Golf & St. Johns Golf & Country Club

putting green

(Photo credit: Warwick CC Head Professional Matt Walsh, via Twitter)

  • Pick up your putt when it's 6in from the hole. No need to reach in the cup. 
  • Don't touch the flagstick. New USGA rule allows it to stay in anyway. 
  • Book/pay your tee time online. Check to see if the club offers a check-in method via cell phone. 
  • Utilize the clubs' take-out services if offered

From the Experts

golf ball sitting in the hole

We asked Owner Derek DiStefano of local St. Johns County, Golf Club at South Hampton, to respond to the precautionary measures they will be taking for the time being.

"With the new guidance from the CDC and government leaders, we are implementing the following new policies at The Golf Club at South Hampton," DiStefano said. "We have suspended the use of water coolers on the golf course and on the practice facility, as a way of mitigating exposure to any potential viruses. We are continually wiping down tables, golf car steering wheels, allowing 1 person per cart.

"We are also encouraging folks to take advantage of our To Go service, as a way of reducing your exposure to a larger group of folks. This can be accomplished by calling the restaurant at 904-287-7529 and selecting the prompt for the restaurant. If you are feeling ill, please call the Golf Shop, and cancel your tee time reservation. It is best for you to stay home and rest." 

Government, Golf Clubs and various associations have been continuously giving advice about safe practices. It is apparent that this situation could change in a day, week and month’s time so have fun, be precautious & please stay informed with the CDC and your local clubs for updates on operation status! You can also check our our page here sharing some local club statuses.