Best Practices

Updated May 27 @ 8:31 a.m.

The following recommendations have been developed in conjunction with national and provincial partners and in consultation with ACUTE Environmental Health & Safety Inc., a leading health and safety firm based in Waterloo, Ont. 

In the event of any conflict between these recommendations and provincial legislation, guidelines or other provincial directions, the provincial documentation will take precedence.  It is expected that, as more information and guidance becomes available, these recommendations may be revised to reflect the most current information.

Please also note: the Public Health Agency of Canada has published a useful guide for employers: Preventing COVID-19 in the workplace: Employers, employees and essential service workers.

Tee time reservations, payment, and pre-arranged services

  • Reservations should be taken by phone, or on-line  with prepayment used to the greatest extent possible;
  • Contact information for each player should be collected during the reservation process to assist with contact tracing, if necessary;
  • One tee time booking per person (maximum 4 players);
  • Players will be encouraged to walk, but if this is not practical, the player must indicate their need for a power cart or pull cart;
  • An On-line COVID-19 questionnaire or declaration should be completed if possible.
  • Consider increasing tee time intervals and adding starter times to reduce on-course congestion. Players should be instructed that punctuality is very important to avoid course group gatherings;
  • Touchless, cashless, or online prepayment for green fees is recommended;
  • If a golfer requires a golf bag from storage, shoes or similar items, at least one hour’s notice should be given to avoid congestion;  
  • Rental clubs, golf bag/shoe services and club repairs should include cleaning and disinfecting prior to issue.

Driving to Course

  • To the extent possible only household members should travel in the same vehicle;
  • Encourage players to arrive no more than 20-30 minutes prior to their tee time

Arrival 

  • A parking lot greeter should be considered at the club’s entrance;
  • Staff should confirm that golfers have a pre-arranged tee time and inform them of the safety protocols in place;
  • Golfers should be prepared to confirm their COVID-19 declaration. Download sample COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire here.
  • Instruct golfers to avoid parking immediately adjacent to another vehicle, where possible;
  • If practice facilities are at capacity or closed off, ask golfers to remain in their vehicle until approx. five minutes before their tee time; 
  • Discourage congregating in parking lot;
  • Golfers should be asked to handle their own clubs for the duration of their visit.

Power Carts & Pull Carts

  • Should be cleaned and disinfected after each use;
  • One person per golf cart is recommended;
  • Two persons in a golf cart are permitted if they are from the same household;
  • Two persons in a golf cart, if they are not from the same household, are permitted if a plexiglas divider (or equivalent) is in place between the driver and the passenger;
  • Hand sanitizers should be included with the carts;
  • Coolers and sand containers should be removed;
  • Cart signs should be used to indicate if power carts have been disinfected;
  • Designate a clearly-marked area for the return of used power carts and pull carts;
  • Employees conducting cleaning must be provided with appropriate PPE – gloves, masks, eye protection, and instruction. 
  • See job-specific PPE recommendations here
  • See Health Canada Guidance on Hand Washing and Non-Medical Masks here
  • PPE Recommended Supplier List
  • Supplier-specific recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting power carts: Club Car; E-Z-GO; Yamaha.

Driving Range, Chipping Areas and Putting Greens

  • Putting green: cup modifications should be made to prevent reaching into the hole; players should use their own golf balls; 
  • Driving range: hitting areas should be arranged to allow for physical distancing; golf balls should be disinfected and cleaned before being redistributed; players encouraged to use their club to position the ball; extraneous touchpoints removed (e.g. benches, bag stands, etc.)
  • Staff supervision of practice facilities is recommended;
  • Driving range and putting greens should have signage and/or markings to indicate appropriate capacity, use and distancing.

Waiting for Tee-Off

  • Instruct players to comply with marshals/greeter and ensure that only 1 foursome is at the tee off area to allow for physical distancing.

On the Course

  • Players must comply with all marshals/greeters’ directions;
  • Players should observe physical distancing, to the extent possible;
  • Carts should include disinfecting materials;
  • Golfers should be instructed to use no-touch greetings (tip of the hat, etc.);
  • Ball washers should be removed or taped shut;
  • Bunker rakes should be removed. Players should be encouraged to level the sand with their feet or club;
  • Players should be reminded to leave the flagstick in place;
  • Consideration should be made for increasing on-course marshal presence to ensure protocols are being followed;
  • Players should be removed from the premises if found not adhering to safety guidelines;
  • Hole modifications should be made to eliminate the need to lift the ball out of the hole;
  • Benches on the course may be removed if congestion is a concern. 
  • On-course washrooms should be cleaned multiple times a day and verification check sheets should be in place wherever possible. See recommended cleaning and disinfecting protocols here
  • Trash cans on site should be minimized and lids removed to reduce unnecessary touchpoints;
  • Water stations will be removed or taped off;
  • Players should plan to bring their own wastes back to their vehicles, or to designated waste disposal areas;
  • Emergency protocols should be modified to ensure compliance with provincial guidelines;
  • Following the round, players should minimize congregation times while following physical distancing restrictions and return to their vehicles immediately

Teaching & Coaching

  • Individual lessons may be offered as long as physical distancing and disinfecting procedures are followed;
  • Group lessons and camps may be offered in compliance with provincial guidelines;
  • Training tools should be thoroughly disinfected between lessons;
  • Instructors should avoid handling equipment belonging to the student;
  • Use of an alignment stick (or similar item) should be used to help with player positioning;
  • Participants should use their own golf balls for short-game lessons, where possible;
  • Communicate safety protocols in advance of the lesson;
  • Non-medical grade masks are encouraged;
  • Consider expanding services online, where possible;

Clubhouse & Facility

  • Ensure prominent signage throughout buildings;
  • Facility access is not permitted for anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms, feels unwell, fails to satisfy the questionnaire restrictions, or who does not complete a questionnaire;
  • The number of people entering any potentially crowded area should be monitored and restricted;
  • Hand sanitizers, wipes, plexiglass shields (if necessary) should be available at all high-touch areas throughout the facility.

Pro Shop & Retail

  • Consider a door greeter to educate customers on retail protocols in place;
  • Physical distancing should be maintained with the help of floor markings;
  • Electronic receipts should be used where possible;
  • Bulk items (e.g. scorecards, tees, ballmarkers) should be removed and provided only when necessary;
  • E-commerce functionality should be considered where possible;
  • Items purchased from the Pro Shop should be paid for in advance, and picked up curbside where possible;
  • Review merchandising practices to reduce touchpoints (e.g. displaying a single unit to reduce number of items touched);
  • Allow only one person per fitting room and increase cleaning frequency;
  • Where possible, wipe down and disinfect items that are returned, exchanged or used for demonstration; items that can’t be disinfected should be isolated in a marked bin for a minimum of 72 hours before returning to the floor.

Click here to see the Retail Council of Canada's Playbook for Golf - a comprehensive resource that covers merchandising techniques, pricing strategies and more during COVID-19. 

Emergency Procedures - detailed action plan coming soon

  • Preparedness and communication are key;
  • In the event of an emergency, players should be encouraged to seek shelter in their vehicles or within the clubhouse;
  • Management should assess the severity of the emergency as it may present more imminent danger than COVID-19;
  • If shuttling players off the course is required, staff should be provided with appropriate PPE given that physical distancing may not be possible;
  • A process should be in place to ensure players can get back on the course in an organized manner that minimizes congestion;
  • Players should only use the equipment they had prior to the emergency delay (ie. same pull cart or power cart). Cart nameplates are encouraged for this reason. 

Tournaments & Events

  • Registration and scoring should be conducted online to the greatest extent possible;
  • Players should be encouraged to bring their own supplies, where possible (ie. pencils, hand sanitizer);
  • Score verification should be done verbally;

Golf Course Employees

  • All employees must conduct daily COVID-19 self assessments;
  • All employees must not come to work if they feel unwell, or do not comply with the COVID-19 self assessment;
  • Management must establish a COVID-19 response protocol in the event that a customer or worker is determined to be potentially affected.
  • Management must provide necessary PPE, and adequate training, to workers based on their job descriptions;
  • Employees must comply with job-specific requirements and wear required PPE.

Workplace-Specific Hazard Assessment and Controls

  • Management must establish workplace-specific precautions covering the hazards of COVID-19, hazard controls, proper physical distancing, hand washing, self-quarantine, and reporting;
  • Management must ensure that workers have adequate training in the workplace specific precautions and controls;
  • Management should establish a regular means of auditing compliance with the Workplace-specific hazard controls.

Hand Washing and Non-Medical Masks

  • Management must ensure that required PPE, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection is available and appropriate for use. 

PGA of Canada Resources

Industry Resources

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