Virus safety is very important and here are some recommendations for golf players in Covid-19 infected areas in Thailand.
Golf is a sport which can be played with a high degree of virus safety thanks to the fact that players do not have direct contact with each other or each other’s equipment (ball, clubs, bag). It’s played outdoors in a spacious environment where social distancing can be practiced.
For many, notably older players, golf is an important element of their physical exercising routine. Therefore we recommend to our patients, who play golf and are in good health, to continue playing provided strict virus safety measures are adhered to.
The key themes for virus safety for golfers are:
- Facilitating and assuring a distance between people of at least 1.5m in all circumstances on and around the golf course.
- Avoiding surface contamination.
We recommend that players make a tee-time reservation in advance by phone, e-mail or online. Green fees should preferably be paid in advance by bank transfer or online (credit card) payment.
Note: if payments have to be made at the course, hygiene measures should be applied: e.g. cleaning hands after the payment transaction.
We recommend playing in 2-balls if possible unless playing with persons from the same household. When playing in 3- or 4-balls, extra care should be taken in regards to social distancing.
Arrival at the course and use of caddies, carts and/or trolleys.
Players exhibiting flu symptoms or deemed to be at high risk should not play.
Players should undergo a temperature check, preferably using a self-check device, at the golf course entrance and should only play with a body temperature not higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius.
You must wear masks when in & around the club house and respect a 1.5m distance from all other people.
Players are recommended not to use caddies. However, as a courtesy to the caddies, players should support the caddies’ income by making a contribution to them; e.g. an amount equal to the regular caddie fee and tip.
Players should carry their own bag or bring their own trolley. Alternatively, players could rent a trolley or cart, provided the golf course can guarantee disinfection of trolleys and carts after every round.
If you are playing without a caddie, players should repair divots & pitch marks and raking the bunker (however not using the common rake, see below).
If a golf course does not allow playing without a caddie, the following caddie protocols should be applied:
- Either the player will drive the cart and the caddie will stand on the back or the other way around. This routine should be used for the full round. Same applies for trolleys; either the caddie will push/pull the trolley or the player.
- The caddie should never touch a player’s ball or equipment.
- The caddie will solely support the player by repairing divots & pitch marks, raking bunkers (with his/her own rake), advise the player in their game and search for the player’s ball, while keeping at least 1.5m distance from the player at all times.
During the round
Players should go to the first tee at the assigned time provided the previous flight has left the tee box.
Players will at all times during the round respect a 1.5m distance from their fellow players and other people (e.g. maintenance staff). Golf players can opt not to wear a mask during play provided local government regulations allow this and the 1.5m distance rule can be assured.
Golf players must not touch the ball and equipment of other players. On the course, players must not touch the flag or other objects on the course like distance markers, penalty area markers or ball washers as an example.
It is preferred that players will not approach or pass other flights, unless there is a need and in which case the 1.5m distance rule should be strictly adhered to.
Players playing without a caddie should not use common rakes in bunkers. Players should smooth the bunker by foot or using their clubs, using their own rake or a rake provided by the golf course which has been disinfected after each round.
Players should try to avoid touching the inside of the hole when picking up their ball after holing out.
Note: preferably courses take measures to prevent the ball from dropping deep in the hole, e.g. by levelling the cup.
Players are advised not to put out when a ball is within 2 feet of the hole and add one extra stroke to the score.
Note: courses are advised to paint a 2 feet ‘gimme’ circle around the hole and make this a local rule.
Players should not exchange scorecards after their game.
Use of club house facilities
Players are advised to refrain from using the locker room and toilets. However, if a visit to the toilet is needed, sanitary measures, like hand washing and toilet seat cleaning, should be done.
It is advised to only buy food or drinks at the course if the golf club has government-approved COVID-19 safety standards in place for providing food & beverage services and an approval to operate. Players should strictly adhere to these safety standards.
Players are advised not to play tournaments with exception of informal ‘virtual’ tournaments where physical gathering of large numbers of players before and after the event can be avoided.
Players are advised to refrain from using bag handling services and storage facilities.
Players are advised to only use the driving range when the facilities allow at least 1.5m distance between players. Players should not touch practice balls and trays unless they are disinfected after each use.
Players are advised to only use the practice green using own balls, respecting 1.5m distance from other players, and avoiding touching the inside of the hole when picking up a ball from the hole.