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Playing Golf Observing the New Required Golf Rules

At the Groton Country club, these three golfers demonstrate the new normal at golf courses, face coverings and social distancing. Photo by Robert Mingolelli


By Robert Mingolelli
Groton Country Club General Manager/Head Golf Professional Shawn Campbell, following Governor Charlie Baker’s directives, opened GCC Friday, May 8, ten days earlier than many golfers expected. Bob Anderson, Rick Salon, Mark Hickey and Andy Palmer took advantage and shared their thoughts on playing under the new required golf rules in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
     The foursome played nine holes in approximately 1 3/4 hours. Tee times were booked in advance (15 minute intervals) and it was easy to maintain social distancing. On the down side, they all used masks and those wearing glasses had constant fogging issues. Putting worked best if each person putted all the way out and then got off the green rather than all four gradually converging on the pin. Cleverly designed flags allowed the ball to be removed without players having to reach into the hole to retrieve a ball after sinking a putt. It was tough starting on the first hole without hitting a bucket of practice balls beforehand, but they all agreed, it was great to play golf again!
The Rules
• All staff must wear face coverings while on property.
• Course facilities including clubhouse, golf shop, restaurant, bag room and locker room must remain closed.
• No caddies or golf carts allowed.
• 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.
• No more than four players in a group at one time.
• 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.
• Flagsticks must remain in the hole.
• Bunker rakes must be re- moved, 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
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