Here’s How Golfing Works During Quarantine
As of May 1st, you can finally start to go play some golf, but it will be quite a bit different than you are used to! For one, you will be walking – and you will be carrying your own clubs, unless you bring your own pull cart!
Also, you can not play in groups of more than two, and tee-times will be staggered 15 minutes apart (usually they are around 12).
You won’t be allowed to touch anything! No water jugs, ball washers, sand rakes (use your club), and no touching the pin. The pins must remain in the holes at all times, and there will be a device inside the hole to not allow the ball to drop more than an inch, allowing you to grab it easily.
You better be warmed up before you get there, too, because there will be no access to driving ranges or putting/chipping greens to avoid congregation areas.
Oh, and no shaking hands!
Here’s the entire list of restrictions for both courses and players as set forth by the Illinois Department of Commerce.
Golf Clubs and Management restrictions:
  • Require online or telephone bookings
  • Players shall be grouped in twosomes.
  • 15 minutes between tee-times:.
    • Average tee-times are roughly 12 minutes apart. Spreading out bookings would ensure people do not congregate at tee boxes.
    • Spacing out the tee times would also limit the number of people at the golf course.
  • Signage describing operational changes including: no congregating, increased frequency of cleaning, no handshakes, and maintain social distancing between players
  • No practice ranges, chipping greens, or putting greens to limit large gatherings of individuals.
  • No golf carts may be used on course (either owned by golf club or privately owned), except individuals with a physical indispensability limitations that prevent them from walking the course may rent a cart from the golf club.
  • Only privately-owned pull carts may be utilized, rental of pull carts from the course will not be allowed
  • Elevate the “bottom” of the cup:
    • This can be done by placing the cup upside down so that the new bottom is roughly an inch below the lip of the hole. Golfers could retrieve their ball without having to put their hand in the bottom of the regular cup.
    • Alternatively, place Styrofoam in the bottom of the cup
  • Flags cannot be removed from the cup
  • Clubhouses,halfway houses, and pro shops shall remain closed.
  • Prohibit beverage and snack carts
  • Courses shall operate at a minimum basic operations level of staff to limit customer and staff contact; i.e. “starter”, “course manager”, “maintenance crew”, “kitchen staff to prepare to-go only food service.”
  • Remove drinking water jugs and prohibit use of water fountains that are permanently affixed with signage
  • Elimination of on-course and practice facility touch points(i.e. bag drop, benches, ball washes, bunker/sand trap rakes, rental equipment, and water coolers)
  • Hand sanitizer and soap in all restrooms, including those on the course
    • Restrooms shall be sanitized regularly
  • No indoor events or outside tournaments
  • Restaurants can remain open for takeout only; all tables and chairs removed or flipped upside down to prohibit use
  • Indoor facilities may be open for minimal operations for use by golf course workers to facilitate the outdoor recreation footprint and activity

Player Restrictions:

  • Any players with any symptoms of COVID-19, should not play
  • In addition, any players from a household with someone with symptoms of COVID-19 should not play
  • Golfers must walk and carry own clubs; no caddies.
  • Bring your own supply of balls, tees, ball markers, and any other equipment needed to play golf.•Insist on social distancing on tees, greens, and throughout the round
  • Players shall maintain adequate physical distancing between other twosomes.
  • Golfers should pick up their own ball
  • Handle your own scorecard
  • Bring your own water/sports drink, towel, and snack
  • Do not use the public drinking fountain or ball cleaner
  • Leave the flag in place while putting
  • Sort out the sand in the bunker with a club
  • Put on your golf shoes at your vehicle
  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use during your round and at the end
  • No handshakes at the beginning of the round or at the 18th hole