Golf courses in the Merrimack Valley have begun reopening today following guidelines established by the Baker administration. The information below was provided by MassGolf.com and golfers should consult that website regularly for updates. For places to play locally, visit the websites of Four Oaks Country Club and the Merrimack Valley Golf Club to check availability.
The Mass.gov website contains the following guidance regarding golf:
“Golf courses are not essential businesses and cannot have employees working on-premise. Notwithstanding this restriction, essential services, such as groundskeeping to avoid hazardous conditions and security, provided by employees, contractors, or vendors are permitted. Private operator of courses may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind, appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly followed, and the business operator and golfers abide by the specific guidelines for golf courses.
Municipalities may decide to open municipal courses under these guidelines, if they so choose.”
For more information, please click here to visit the Mass.gov website.
Guidelines include the following:
- Security personnel can be delineated by each club and will be present to enforce social distancing. There can be no other employees working at the recreational component of the golf operation.
- All staff must wear face coverings while on property.
- Course facilities including but not limited to the clubhouse, golf shop, restaurant, bag room and locker room must remain closed.
- No caddies allowed.
- No golf carts allowed.
- Push carts may be used. Players must either carry their own bag or use a push cart.
- All golfers must maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet at all times.
- Groups of players are restricted to no more than 4 players at one time.
- Members-only clubs can allow guests as determined by the security personnel on the golf course.
- Private clubs that allow non-members to make reservations can do so at their discretion.
- Maintenance personnel are permitted to work on the golf course.
- Tee Time Policy must be 15 minutes between groups.
- Golfers must stay in their car until 15 minutes before their tee time and must return to their car immediately following play.
- Online and remote payment options must be utilized.
- All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf clubs or rental golf clubs is not allowed.
- Flagsticks must remain in the hole. Hole liners must be raised so picking a ball out of the hole doesn’t occur.
- Bunker rakes must be removed, and ball washers must be removed or covered.
- Practice putting green, driving range, and chipping areas must be closed.
- Facilities must have readily accessible hand sanitizer.
Click here to save an image of these guidelines to your phone.
Additionally, the USGA has provided detailed guidance for golfers and golf courses in relation to the Rules of Handicapping and Rules of Golf during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the statement from the USGA by clicking here and the guidance form here.