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Updated June 3, 2020 at 1:00 PM
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
Updated May 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Updated May 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM
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.
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
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.”
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
“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!”
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
Updated April 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM
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
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
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 Governor’s Executive Orders from Bob Antia, ESF-5 Business and Industry Team Lead at Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
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, 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.
Updated March 20, 2020 at 9:30 AM
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.
Updated March 19, 2020 at 5:45 PM
Visit massgolf.org/covid19 for more information
Updated March 18, 2020 at 3:15 PM
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 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 email@example.com.
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.