June 18, 2020

Golf England – Play Safe Stay Safe

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We have prepared a series of instructions to guide behaviour during a visit to the club to ensure that we can enjoy golf while avoiding further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please read this before your first visit to the club. It is a long document and may come across as too dictatorial and petty, but that really is not the intention. It is because we want to cover every possible aspect and circumstance that may arise.

COVID-19 is spread when an infected individual or carrier, who may not have any symptoms, releases the virus into the air by coughing or sneezing, or even breathing. A person in close contact can inhale the virus and become infected. Also, the virus will settle on surfaces and can live there for days. Someone can become infected by touching that surface and then touching their face. The virus can be killed by soap or by appropriate sanitizing agents.

This is all we need to know to define 4 general rules that underpin this entire document:

  • do not attend the club if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of COVD-19 until you have completed the isolation period recommended by government
  • do not stand within 2 metres of anyone while attending the club
  • as far as possible, do not touch anything, particularly with your hands, other than your own equipment
  • if you do, wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer

If we remember and adhere to these 4 general rules, we will not spread the virus, and can enjoy golf safely.

Specific rules

To apply these general rules effectively, we need specific rules to be aware of during a visit to the club. You need to know about them, but there are too many to remember, so there will be signs around the club and on the course to remind you. Compliance is mandatory, but occasionally someone may forget and slip up. If you see someone do that, be willing to remind them politely. Likewise, be willing to accept polite correction if you transgress. Repeated deliberate failure to comply will be punished by withdrawal of playing rights.

Before Play

  • Book your tee slot using BRS or by phoning the pro shop to do this for you. “Walk on” play without booking is not permitted at any time.
  • Do not attend the club if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19 until you have completed the isolation period recommended by government
  • Bring your own hand sanitiser if possible – this will not be widely available at the club
  • Bring your own water, as the fountain on the 9th tee is not in use
  • Arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before your tee time, unless you plan to use the driving range before play or if you feel you must take longer to get equipment from the locker room and/or trolley store.
  • Do not stand within 2 metres of anyone
  • If you need the locker room/toilets, enter one, or at most two, at a time and wash your hands before touching anything. Do not change clothes in the locker room, and the showers are not in use.
  • Enter the trolley store one at a time, keep touching of surfaces to a minimum
  • Entry to the course is using the path passing the pro shop and practice area (ie practice net, putting green and chipping green)
  • Wait in the car park until the group ahead have moved to or beyond the practice area
  • Maximum of two people in the pro shop at any one time
  • Push trolleys are not available for hire
  • The use of buggies is discouraged but available for those who need them, subject to conditions
  • Only enter the practice area when the group ahead has moved to the first tee
  • Use your own golf balls in the practice area and do not leave any behind. Do not touch the flagsticks.
  • Only go to the first tee when the group ahead has played and moved off

During your round

  • Do not stand within 2 metres of anyone
  • No more than the maximum number of players with no caddies or accompanying walkers
  • Avoid touching anything other than your own equipment
    eg flagstick golf balls other than your own. Stray balls found on the course should not be lifted.
  • Short Putts should be offered as “given” in match play as usual.
  • Mark your own scorecard, they should not be exchanged
  • Please use Bell ropes to ring the bell with a golf club (or a glove brought for that purpose)
  • The water fountain on the 9th tee is not in use, so bring your own water
  • Do not sit on the Benches
  • Portable toilet on 10th will be closed and not in use.
  • Ball washing apparatus on the course is not to be used
  • Bunker rakes will be removed, if your ball is in a bunker you may be lift and place within one club length no nearer the hole. Please repair the bunker as best as you can with your foot or club.
  • Avoid slow play so that there is no congestion in the usual areas eg 2nd and 9th tees.
  • Leave the greens promptly but do not go onto any tee area until the group ahead has played and moved on.
  • Give way to players already using the bridge between the 8th and 11th tees
  • Avoid close proximity to other players on shared paths eg on the path to and from the first tee, between 4th and 15th greens and 5th and 16th tees, and crossing the 5th fairway.
  • Do not shake hands after the round.

After your round

  • Exit the course by turning right onto the road and follow it round the back of the clubhouse past the greenkeeper’s shed to the car park
  • The compressed air shoe cleaner is not in use
  • Do not stand within 2 metres of anyone
  • Please take all your golf equipment home with you and avoid using the locker room or trolley store
  • Leave the club without delay

Locker rooms, toilets, trolley store :
Social distancing and avoidance of hand to surface contact are difficult in these areas and we must severely limit their use. When you first visit the club, please empty your locker and trolley store and take everything home when you leave. Leave nothing behind in the locker room while you are playing, and do not return to the locker room after play.
The exception is to use the toilets. We ask that you use the toilets only if necessary, and hygienically. Until the clubhouse staff return to work, the toilets will be serviced by member volunteers, and will be locked earlier than usual.

Buggies :
Buggies will be restricted to members over 65 with a medical certificate.
Buggies MUST be pre booked and only one person can ride in it. Pre booked buggies will be cleaned and left outside the pro shop ready for collection. Disposable steering wheel covers will be provided and the buggies will be cleaned again after they have been return.
Please leave the buggy key in the buggy do not return it to the pro shop.

Use of the practice Facilities :
The practice range will be open for use by members only. Detailed on how to follow social distancing and how to clean baskets before and after use will be displayed on the ball dispensing machine and on the range.
Practice bunker area will be closed.