Mass Golf Issues Statement Regarding COVID-19 - MASSGOLF

mass golf NEWS TIMELINE DURING COVID-19 ERA

*This is an ongoing news story. 

 

Updated July 3, 2020 at 2:00 PM

GOVERNOR’S ADMINISTRATION RELEASES GUIDELINES FOR PHASE III OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S RE-OPENING PLAN BEGINNING ON MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2020.

For more information please head to Mass Golf’s Safe Guidelines page. CLICK HERE

 


Updated June 6, 2020 at 1:00 PM

GOVERNOR’S ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES PHASE II OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S RE-OPENING PLAN WILL BEGIN ON MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2020.

For more information please head to Mass Golf’s Safe Guidelines page. CLICK HERE

 


Updated June 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM

GOVERNOR’S ADMINISTRATION ADDS GOLF TO PHASE II OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S RE-OPENING PLAN

The Governor’s Administration has provided advanced notice that the golf industry has been included in the formal Phase II Re-Opening plan. The updated guidelines pertaining to golf will go into effect once Phase II begins, a date that is yet to be determined by the Governor’s Administration. Please read the full guidelines below.

“These workplace safety standards for Golf Facilities are posted in advance to the Governor’s initiation of Phase 2 to allow operators of golf courses time to prepare for reopening in compliance with these mandatory standards. Golf courses have operated in a limited fashion since May 7, 2020.   Golf Facilities may not expand their operations until specifically authorized to do so in Phase 2 of the Commonwealth’s Workplace Re-Opening Plan.  The Governor will initiate Phase 2 of the Re-Opening Plan by formal Executive Order and only following a careful review of public health data.” 

For more information please head to Mass Golf’s Safe Guidelines page. CLICK HERE

 


Updated May 25, 2020 at 8:00 AM

GOLF CARTS USE ALLOWED FOR SINGLE RIDER OR GROUP OF FAMILY MEMBERS

  • Walking is encouraged, but golf carts may be used only if each cart is used by and contains only a single rider, or a group of family members living in the same house.  Any carts used must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Staffing must be limited to security and course maintenance/landscaping and the minimum workers necessary to service and clean carts.  No other services may be provided.

 

FURTHER CLARIFICATION ON RESTAURANTS/FOOD SERVICE

  • Restaurants located on the premises of golf courses may offer no-contact take-out of food to be consumed off premises, but like all other restaurants, they may not allow any form of dine-in or outdoor, on-premises service. Outside seating and tables should be removed from locations near to any take-out service.

 


Updated May 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM

GOLF CARTS MAY BE USED BY INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

  • The use of a motorized cart may be permitted for any individual with a disability who is seeking a reasonable accommodation to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  A golfer who wants to use a cart should provide documentation or otherwise certify in writing to the golf course that he or she has a disability that requires the use of the cart.
  • Any carts used must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.  The course operator may not use non-essential employees to handle the renting and/or cleaning of the carts.  Only security and groundskeeping personnel are permitted on the premises.

 


Updated May 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM

GOLF COURSES IN MASSACHUSETTS ALLOWED TO RE-OPEN AS OF MAY 7

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.

Guidelines:

  • Security personnel can be delineated by each club (ex. A pro and the head starter) 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.

 

STATEMENT FROM THE ALLIANCE OF MASSACHUSETTS GOLF ORGANIZATIONS

“The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) would like to thank the Re-Opening Advisory Board for their hard work and diligence during this process to resume play in Massachusetts. AMGO is continuing to work with the Governor’s Administration to identify and develop additional solutions to emerging issues in the golf industry and to keep them informed on the needs of our community. We understand that many golfers require cart usage for medical reasons or disabilities, which was originally part of our request to the Re-Opening Advisory Board on May 2. We have and will continue to request such adjustments to the guidelines as appropriate to keep everyone safe and to ensure the whole community is able to enjoy the necessary physical and mental exercise that we all need during this time.”

 


Updated April 28, 2020 at 1:00 PM

GOVERNOR BAKER EXTENDS NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS CLOSURE TO MAY 18

Statement from Mass Golf Executive Director/CEO Jesse Menachem

“Mass Golf and the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) have been and continue to work with government relations experts to not only better understand the current situation in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 era but also in how to best move forward on behalf of the golf community in the Commonwealth. As of April 28, 2020 the Governor has extended the Non-Essential Business Closure to May 18, 2020. They have also created an Economic Advisory Board to help plan for a safe and responsible reopening.  With these recent developments, AMGO will help to educate and serve as a resource to our Government Officials on the Economic Advisory Board in hopes to have golf recognized as a safe recreational activity under the appropriate restrictions and guidelines. It is important to remember that we all must work together during this time and respect the Governor’s Executive Orders.”

 


AMGO DELIVERS GOLF INDUSTRY PACKET TO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) delivered a packet to Governor Baker’s Administration on Monday, April 20, 2020 in an effort to serve as a resource to better understand how golf may resume as a safe and measured recreational activity. Many of the health benefits (public, physical and mental) of golf were highlighted as golf can be compared to available activities such as walking, hiking and biking.  “It is our intent to continue to work as a unified group on behalf of the golf community in Massachusetts,” said Jesse Menachem, Executive Director/CEO of Mass Golf. “We have been working diligently behind the scenes and in the most respectful of ways with several government relations experts who have provided sound guidance throughout the process. We all want what is best but it will take time and we are prepared to help in any way we can to get this right in the long run.”

 


Updated April 10, 2020 at 4:30 PM

A STATEMENT FROM THE ALLIED GOLF ASSOCIATIONS OF NEW ENGLAND/NORTHEAST

“Over the past several weeks, affiliate golf organizations – representing all six New England States and beyond – have been working in collaboration to represent the best interests of not only golf facilities and courses but individual golfers as well during the pandemic of COVID-19.

We have lobbied and advocated within our jurisdictions with varying levels of success and progress. As of this week, only Connecticut and Rhode Island are allowing golf to be played under very specific guidelines and restrictions. These guidelines and restrictions are changing daily. Fortunately, all six states are permitted to conduct essential course maintenance.

Parts of the Northeast region are nearing the peak of COVID-19 cases, hospitals are unable to keep up with the crisis and we are being instructed to stay home/limit any outside activity. In light of all this and through the group’s continued weekly communication, all of our organizations have aligned on the notion of being patient with advocacy and action directed towards our Governors on behalf of the golf industry.

As a unified group, our collaboration has been strong in the Northeast. We are taking steps to develop best practices and roadmaps for facilities and golfers once the all clear is given and we can safely return to golf within the region. We have also had extensive conversations with government relations lobbyists and their recommendation has been to remain patient and united, a true reflection of the group’s work to date.

We will continue under that guidance as we all want what is best for golf. We have the bulk of our season ahead of us and patience will be vital as we look to protect the summer and fall months of play and activity.

Please join us in our collective effort to abide by and respect each individual state’s guidelines set forth by their respective governors. For those who do not currently have access to golf in their state, please Stay Home, Stay Healthy and Save Golf!”

Mass Golf
New England Section of the PGA of America
Connecticut Section of the PGA of America
Northeast New York Section of the PGA of America
New England Golf Course Owners Association
Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England
Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod
Golf Course Superintendents Association of New Hampshire
Golf Course Superintendents Association of Rhode Island
New England Chapter, Club Management Association of America
New England Golf Association
New Hampshire Golf Association
Vermont Golf Association
Rhode Island Golf Association
Connecticut State Golf Association
Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund
PGA TOUR

 


Updated April 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM

EMERGENCY ORDER EXTENDED

Governor Charlie Baker has issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical  workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. Governor Baker’s order has been extended until May 4.

Per the updated COVID-19 Essential Service FAQ website, golf operations and playing golf at a Massachusetts golf course, country club or facility is still not permitted as of Wednesday, April 1st at noon until Monday, May 4th at noon.

“Are golf courses considered essential?  NO”

Golf Course Maintenance is still permitted per the Essential Services List.

“The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) is a trusted advocate for the golf community in Massachusetts and is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our golfers, clubs and facilities, staff and volunteers, as well as every person in communities where we live, work and play. We are in daily contact with the other New England Golf Organizations as well as various National Golf Organizations as we continue to navigate and manage the best path forward for our industry during the COVID-19 era.

AMGO has successfully worked with Governor Charlie Baker’s office to allow for golf course maintenance to continue during these temporary closures so they’ll be ready for operations in the near future. We all share the same goal of returning to recreational normalcy, when clubs and facilities can welcome golfers back to the tee. In order to achieve this, we ask that the people in the Massachusetts golf community work through this together in a respectful and responsible way by following the protocols of the CDC, WHO and local health officials.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding of the Governor’s Executive Orders that have been implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

 


Updated March 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM

GOLF LISTED AS NON-ESSENTIAL

Mass Golf and the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) serve as advocates and a resource for the golf industry in Massachusetts.

Per the updated COVID-19 Essential Service FAQ website, golf operations and playing golf at a Massachusetts golf course, country club or facility is not permitted as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon.

“Are golf courses considered essential?  NO”

As per our previous email, golf course and facility maintenance is still allowed per the landscaping guidance provided by Mark Fuller, Undersecretary of Business Growth Development at Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development at Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 


Updated March 25, 2020 at 12:30 PM

GUIDANCE FROM GOVERNOR BAKER’S ADMINISTRATION

Mass Golf and the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) serve as advocates and a resource for the golf industry in Massachusetts.

As if 11:18 AM today, Mark Fuller, Undersecretary of Business Growth at Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development at Commonwealth of Massachusetts, provided guidance regarding landscaping (i.e. golf course maintenance as described in AMGO’s letter sent on 3/24/20) and confirmed via email that the Governor’s Administration will be adding it to the COVID-19 Essential Service FAQ.

“In short, landscaping (i.e golf course maintenance can continue as an essential service but all businesses and companies involved in landscaping should adhere to social distancing protocols for workers and customers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.”

 


Updated March 24, 2020 at 5:20 PM

FURTHER CLARIFICATION ON THE EXECUTIVE ORDER

Mass Golf and the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) serve as advocates and a resource for the golf industry in Massachusetts.

Further clarification on the Governor’s Executive Orders from Bob Antia, ESF-5 Business and Industry Team Lead at Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

  • Golf courses and facilities are not on the essential services list and must shut down operations. This includes golf operations staff as well as golfers not being allowed to play golf.
  • Golf courses and facilities wishing to continue maintenance during the shutdown period must contact their local Health Department and/or local Government Officials for approvals. A listing of contacts for local health departments can be found through the link below.

Directory of Local Health Departments

AMGO was formed as an industry wide collaborative effort to assist the golf community and does not have any authority over golf course or facility operations in the Commonwealth.

 


Updated March 24, 2020 at 11:00 AM

MASS GOLF AND OTHER ALLIED GOLF ORGANIZATIONS OF MASSACHUSETTS SEND LETTER TO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

Mass Golf, a member of the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations, is working to gain further clarification on aspects of the Executive Order that are ambiguous. At minimum, a request has been sent to the Governor’s office for an exemption around the maintenance of golf courses in the commonwealth.  We hope that they will view this request as an essential service as many other states have already done.  Please take the time to read the letter in the link below and share it with those that may be able to carry the message along.

Letter 2 to the Governor’s Office – Golf Course Maintenance

 


Updated March 20, 2020 at 9:30 AM

MASS GOLF AND OTHER ALLIED GOLF ORGANIZATIONS OF MASSACHUSETTS SEND LETTER TO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE 

Mass Golf, a member of the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations sent a request to the Governor’s office for an exemption around the non-essential services list and for golf courses in the commonwealth to remain open for play in following the CDC and WHO published guidelines.  Please take the time to read the letter in the link below and share it with those that may be able to carry the message along.

Letter 1 to Governor’s Office – Allowing Courses To Remain Open Following Guidelines

 


Updated March 19, 2020 at 5:45 PM

MASS GOLF AND OTHER ALLIED GOLF ORGANIZATIONS OF NEW ENGLAND/NORTHEAST SERVE AS A RESOURCE FOR COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Visit massgolf.org/covid19 for more information

Press Release

 


Updated March 18, 2020 at 3:15 PM

MASS GOLF EVENTS UPDATES

Future Events

All events in April have been canceled and events in May will be further evaluated as we receive more information from the government and health authorities. Please visit our event status listing page for up to date information on Mass Golf events.

First Tee of Massachusetts

Staying in contact with The First Tee National Office, the First Tee of Massachusetts will evaluate and adjust the schedule as necessary.


mass golf issues STATEMENT regarding COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MARCH 12, 2020

Mass Golf is monitoring the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation very closely as the health, safety and well-being of our community is the priority. During extraordinary times, such as the current global pandemic, Mass Golf will be guided in decision making with the information provided by public health and government authorities.

In light of the continued conversations surrounding the fluidity of COVID-19, Mass Golf will continue to operate a normal business schedule and will evaluate all events, meetings, seminars and gatherings in the coming weeks.  We remain in close communication with host facilities and will stress best practices and guidelines as recommended by those public health and government authorities.

As we near the active season, Mass Golf will continue to update the membership on any and all adjustments to schedules and operations through our website and other electronic resources.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Mass Golf office at 774-430-9100 or ccarmignani@massgolf.org.

We hope that everyone will follow the advice of the CDC and our local health authorities to lessen the risk of transmission of COVID-19.