Golf looks a little different this summer.
New health and safety plans are in place for the first time at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, as the first AJGA event of the summer season begins.
The new requirements include parameters to keep safety No. 1 by limiting the overall number of people at an event, eliminating all possible touch points, and maximizing the game’s natural physical distance.
- Temperatures are taken by an advanced health official for all staff and players, volunteers and staff answer health screening questions.
- Gifts are sanitized and distributed with as few touch points as possible.
- Staff wear masks and gloves when interacting with players.
- Hand sanitizer is available at registration, on the first tee and in scoring.
- Players are assigned specific warm-up times and can arrive one hour before their tee time.
- Driving range stalls are spaced per social distancing requirements.
- Range balls are set out without bags and baskets.
- Holes are removed from practice putting greens.
ONE-TEE STARTS implemented for qualifiers and tournaments to maximize social distancing on practice facilities and during weather delays.
- Starters wear masks – as do all staff and volunteers when interacting with stakeholders.
- Players set golf bags near social distancing markers on the tee.
- No paperwork is handed out but all is available on the AJGA’s website.
- All players participate in digital scoring with mobile devices – no physical scorecards are distributed.
- An essential number of volunteers monitor pace of play and distribute water using gloves and masks on course.
- Flagsticks always remain in the hole under new Code of Conduct guidelines. Inserts are added to holes to assist players in retrieving golf balls.
- Bunker rakes will be removed from the course. Players may use preferred lies and are encouraged to smooth sand with club or shoes upon exiting bunkers. AJGA staff will monitor bunker conditions and keep a rake in their golf cart to maintain the course as needed.
- Traditional cookouts and social events will be replaced with box lunches or take out to eliminate large gatherings.
- Players are encouraged to display sportsmanship without traditional hugs and handshakes.
SCORING will be conducted after the round with an AJGA official:
- Players stand at distancing markers to review entry.
- AJGA officials confirm hole-by-hole scores and totals as well as confirm marker and player agree.
- Traditional thank you note writing, a longtime staple of player development of AJGA events, will be done by video for 2020 to limit contact.
- Awards ceremonies will continue to be held after play. Athletes will be photographed individually.
- Social distancing, defined by at least six feet of physical distance between people maintained at all time, will always be enforced under the player Code of Conduct.
- May be limited to one family member or guardian per player dependent on local restrictions. Some events may not allow spectators.
- Final determination about spectators will be announced to the field before each event.
- Approved sponsors and media, as well as college coaches may attend AJGA events.
The AJGA’s 2020 health and safety plans were developed using recommendations from global health partners and working in conjunction with the Back2Golf plan, an industry-wide collaboration of the PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, LPGA, IAGA and allied golf associations.
In addition, the AJGA is working with local government officials to ensure community guidelines are met. At a minimum of four weeks out, governing agencies are asked to sign off on the AJGA’s safety plans and approve an event can be conducted in each local community. This timeline is ideal to finalizing fields and giving maximum time for travel arrangements.
To see the full list of tournament opportunities, visit the 2020 schedule.