Golf is a healthy, therapeutic physical activity that can be extremely beneficial during the highly stressful period of COVID-19 induced restrictions. However, it is incumbent on everyone who chooses to play golf during this time to abide by social distancing guidelines and take responsibility for their own conduct and safety. Here are five tips (things are getting better – these are not the original five!) to help you stay safe while playing golf during Phase II restrictions:
Five Tips for Staying Safe While Playing Golf!
You can get a great start to being safe by booking your tee time online and prepaying at the time of booking. This does a number of things; first, it keeps you from having to pay on arrival, and speeds up the check-in process. You can use our handy Kiosk check-in stations, and minimize any contact with another person, keeping both you and our staff safe. Secondly, you can get a discounted rate if you pay online using our Hot Deals! By the way… if you want to WALK or PLAY BY YOURSELF, you will have to call the pro shop directly in order to see our availability. For the duration of the COVID-19 restrictions, our online booking service can’t handle the issues with managing players and allowing us to keep groups that may not want to play with each other separated.
Golf lends itself very well to social distancing. It is played in wide-open spaces, with plenty of opportunity to maintain spacing between you and others. But it is really easy to get closer than six feet to golfers in your group on the tee box and green; you need to be conscious of the need to stay six feet away from others whenever possible. PLEASE NOTE: As of 6/26/2020, Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order #147 mandates the use of face masks in public spaces whether inside or outside where physical distancing of six feet is not possible. There are exceptions to this rule, so unless you qualify for one of these exceptions you should wear a mask inside our pro shops and anytime you are within six feet of any other people while outdoors. We recommend maintaining a distance of FIFTY feet (yes, 50′!) from other groups, and even within your own group whenever possible. This obviously is very important in spaces where others might be, such as the clubhouse and cart areas. If you must enter those areas, please maintain a minimum of six feet distance from others, and if at all possible avoid entering if others are already in the clubhouse. We want to keep you safe, AND keep our staff safe!
One of the easiest and most important things you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands. There has been a lot of evolution in the information regarding how the Coronavirus can spread, but one thing that has remained consistent is the potential for picking up the virus with our hands and spreading it to our face region. Washing your hands frequently and especially after every possible transmission point (see our Tip #4!) will definitely reduce your risk. If you are not able to wash your hands use hand sanitizer liberally – we have hand sanitizer at all of our pro shop counters and you can even purchase small personal bottles to keep with you. Use it frequently.
Okay, so we admit that not touching anything is not realistic, because you obviously have to touch your clubs! BUT avoid touching anything that may have been touched by someone else. The most common violation of this is removing or holding the flagstick – DON’T DO IT!! Avoid contact with any surface that others may have touched. We are aggressively sanitizing our golf carts between use, but even there try to minimize transferring anything by touch to someone else, or from someone else to you. If you want to wipe down the surfaces of the cart with a sanitizing wipe, by all means feel free to do so! During this time we are asking golfers to remove their own articles (including trash, etc.) from the cart before leaving it for our staff members to sanitize. We want to keep them safe and healthy too – they are working hard to make sure that you can enjoy a great round of golf!
We realize that the procedures and rules implemented during this time are inconvenient and for that we apologize. But we have made drastic changes in our operations to keep you safe, and to protect the safety of our fantastic staff members. We need your help and understanding to make sure that we KEEP everyone safe. Golf is truly an Essential Activity that can provide hours of fun, happy and safe experiences for so many people that are simply looking for a “normal” experience in these abnormal times. But we must all work together to keep it safe – if the leaders in our community see that we are not practicing safe guidelines, our golf courses will be forced to close, and no one will have access to this great game during a time when our community needs it most. Thank you for your cooperation and support during this challenging time.