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The following guidance has been established by the Governor’s Administration so that golf could safely resume in Massachusetts on May 7, 2020. The information below serves as the strict baseline for play to resume and further restriction may be considered and implemented by courses as they see fit. During extraordinary times, such as the current global pandemic, we all will be guided in decision making with the information provided by public health and government authorities.
*This page will be updated frequently as we move through the phased approach towards golf being played with minimal restrictions in the future.
(Last Updated March 2, 2021)
(Last Updated: March 1, 2021
The information in the link below was sourced from the Mass.gov website and presented in summary form by the Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO). The Governor’s Administration is responsible for the creation and the updating of all guidelines and regulations. Please note that these guidelines and regulations can and will change. This document will be updated accordingly.
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 2/25/21; Effective on 3/1/21)
The Governor’s Administration Announced announced that Massachusetts would advance to Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan on Monday, March 1, and also announced its plan to transition to Step 1 of Phase IV on Monday, March 22. To view the press release on the Mass.gov website, CLICK HERE
“With public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction, including drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations, and vaccination rates continuing to increase, the Administration is taking steps to continue to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy.”
*Below are the areas in which the Massachusetts golf community will need to make adjustments to comply with state guidelines and restrictions.
Phase Three, Step 2
Beginning March 1, all communities will move back to Phase III, Step 2 of Massachusetts’ re-opening plan, including the following restrictions:
NOTE: Indoor simulators/ranges are allowed to remain open but must comply with the golf facility capacity guidelines of 50%.
Phase Four, Step 1
Beginning March 22, provided public health metrics continue to improve, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan, with the following restrictions:
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 12/8/20; Effective on 12/13/20)
The Governor’s Administration Announced New Restrictions Statewide for Capacity, Mask Compliance and Distancing Due to Increased Cases, Hospitalizations. To view the press release on the Mass.gov website, CLICK HERE
“These new measures are designed to prevent infection and viral spread, especially in indoor settings. They will create stronger mask compliance, more social distancing, and limits to the time spent with people outside of your immediate household.”
*Below are the areas in which the Massachusetts golf community will need to make adjustments to comply with state guidlines and restrictions.
Phase III, Step 1
Effective December 13, all communities will roll back to Phase 3, Step 1 of Massachusetts’ re-opening plan, including the following restrictions:
NOTE: Indoor simulators/ranges are allowed to remain open but must comply with the golf facility capacity guidelines of 40%.
Restaurants and Venues
The Administration announced new guidelines for restaurants and other venues with seated dining including:
(Updated on the Mass.gov website 11/5/20; Effective on 11/6/20)
The Governor’s Administration updated the state’s golf facility guidelines on the Mass.gov website at 8:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 5. It has been confirmed that face-coverings are required by anyone at the facility, even while playing.
Face Coverings Required While Practicing and Playing
“Require face coverings for all customers and workers, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability.”
Early Closure Guidance
“In accordance with the COVID-19 Order No. 53, Requiring Early Closing for Certain Businesses and Activities Golf Facilities must close to the public by 9:30 pm and may not re-open to the public before 5:00 am the following day (“mandatory closing period”). During this daily mandatory closing period, Golf Facilities must not admit any customers, patrons, or members of the public. Golf Facilities may permit employees to stay on premises during the mandatory closing period.”
Highlights of updated Phase III Guidance:
Guidance for Businesses and Other Entities Providing Outdoor Adult Sports, Supervised Youth Sports Leagues and Summer Sports Camps on Mass.gov: FULL GUIDANCE
“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.
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.
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.
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. It is important to note that during this time, the USGA is temporarily allowing scores to be posted while golf courses make modifications that would not normally comply with Rules of Golf or Rules of Handicapping.
Golfers should post their score immediately following their round either on the GHIN Mobile App on their personal device or on GHIN.com using their personal computer at home. No scores should be posted using a Score Posting Kiosk at a course. If you are in need of your GHIN number, please email Mike Wice (firstname.lastname@example.org) or reach out to your home club.