Dear GCSAA members,
Since March, the entire golf industry has come together and worked tirelessly to operate golf in a responsible manner that has allowed millions of people to enjoy the health and recreational benefits of our game in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your tremendous efforts that have made this possible. As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike across the country, the allied golf organizations have come back together to update the Back2Golf Playbook for your use as states and counties once again issue restrictions to help stop the spread of the virus.
Facial coverings and social distancing are critical. It is each of our responsibilities to adhere to all state/county/local health guidelines and regulations at our facilities. As leaders we need to let our staff know to be responsible when away from the club facilities as well.
The Back2Golf 5.0 Playbook - Keeping Golf Open Responsibly update has been reviewed by our medical experts and reflects the learnings and feedback that so many of you have provided since the Playbook was first rolled out last spring. The goal of this update is very simple - provide operators with an updated playbook that can continue to help keep golf facilities open based on medically endorsed best practices and the socially distanced opportunities our sport provides. From the beginning, the Playbook was designed to help facilities move forward or step backward depending on the severity of the COVID-19 virus in states and counties across the country.
While the general three-phased framework of the Playbook remains the same in version 5.0, there are FOUR significant changes we'd like to point out:
- Size of Gatherings - based on feedback from operators across the country, we have removed the concept of limitations on the specific size of group gatherings. The rationale is that various local authorities are implementing very different standards based on local conditions. To avoid confusion in this area, we are now simply referring you directly to your State/County/Local guidelines regarding the size of gatherings. Prescribed gathering guidance has been removed from the Guidelines for Play, Practice Facilities, Fitness classes, Golf events and Youth Activities.
- Golf Carts - use of carts is another area where local authorities are getting very specific regarding what is permissible. Instead of trying to outline cart usage by phase, we are instead focusing on best practices that have been used for the health and well-being of customers.
- Competitions- We have removed the phasing and provided general recommendations related to competitions.
- Practice Facilities- Instead of trying to outline range usage by phase, we are instead focusing on best practices that have been used for the health and well-being of customers as directed by state and local health authorities.
As we head into the holiday season, we wish each of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Thanks again for making our industry strong and our game something that can bring happiness and joy to so many during a very challenging year.
Rhett Evans, GCSAA
John Easterbrook, PGA
Jay Karen, NGCOA
Greg McLaughlin, We Are Golf
Jeff Morgan, CMAA