Massachusetts will allow golfers back to the links after a 45-day shutdown. Courses can reopen as early as Thursday.
Here’s what golfers need to know:
- Golf courses are still not considered essential businesses. As such, employees cannot work “on-premise,” but essential services for the course — including groundskeeping and security — are allowed.
- Owners of private courses may allow people on their property, as long as they follow strict 6-foot social distancing measures and there are no gatherings.
- Municipal courses may open under the same guidelines.
Here are the rules set forth:
- Security personnel will be present to enforce social distancing. No other employees can work the “recreational component” of the operation.
- Staff members must wear face masks.
- Facilities such as clubhouses, pro shops, restaurants, and bag and locker rooms must remain closed.
- Caddies and motorized carts will not be allowed, but players will be allowed to use hand carts or carry their own bags.
- Players may not golf in groups larger than four, and golfers must maintain 6-foot social distancing.
- Tee times must be spread apart by at least 15 minutes. Golfers must stay in their vehicles until 15 minutes before their tee time, and go directly back to their vehicles after they finish playing.
- For members-only clubs: Guests are allowed, as determined by course security. Private clubs that allow non-members to book tee times can do so at their discretion.
- No sharing of golf clubs or renting of clubs is allowed, and golfers must be able to pay online or remotely.
- Flagsticks must remain in the hole, and hole liners must be raised so golfers don’t have to pick balls out of a hole. Bunker rakes must be removed. Ball washers must be removed or covered. Hand sanitizer must be readily accessible.
- Practice putting greens, driving ranges, and chipping areas remain closed.