We are delighted that golf has been reopened for play and would like to thank all of those at GolfRSA, the PGA of SA and the Club Management Association of Southern Africa for their hard work behind the scenes.
It has been less than three weeks since courses officially reopened for play, and over 165 000 rounds have already been recorded on the HNA Handicap system.
This month, we would like to cover some of the important changes that have been implemented to mitigate the risk of Covid-19, including changes to the booking system, course setup and scorekeeping.
For comprehensive information, please visit the GolfRSA website, under the ‘Covid-19 Latest’ tab.
Clubs/facilities are required to organise a system of booking and allocation of tee times that ensures the safety of staff and golfers.
To save time and limit cash transactions, many clubs have opted for an electronic prepayment system, where golfers book and pay for their rounds online before they play.
All incoming persons will be scanned with a no-contact thermal thermometer prior to entry of the facilities at the access control points. All golfers’ details will be recorded.
Golfers may elect to self-screen using the HealthDocs Application – by submitting their symptoms daily. Each club has its own unique code so that it can keep accurate records of its golfers’ health status.
To limit the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) virus, clubs have made some changes to the way they set the course up. These include:
- All rakes and ball retrievers have been removed. Golfers who play out of bunkers are required to smooth their footmarks and divots as best they can with their feet or clubs.
- Ball washers and drinking fountains have been covered up.
- Benches and bins have been removed, covered or sign-posted in such a way that players do not touch them.
- Stakes defining areas of the course may be treated as immovable obstructions.
- Flagsticks may not be touched/removed. Many clubs have inserted devices to help lift your ball out of the cup, or liners that prevent your ball from dropping all the way to the bottom of the cup. Some clubs may have raised the cup – in which case a ball hitting the cup is considered to be holed.
- Golfers can use the Most Likely Score rule (Section 3.3 of the World Handicap System Rules of Handicapping) to minimise the risk of having to retrieve a ball from the hole.
Golfers should wear masks around the clubhouse area and when within two metres of one another (up to five metres when it is a windy day). Golfers should refrain from picking up stray golf balls.
Golfers may not share or swap scorecards. Electronic scoring, on the HNA Handicaps App, is preferred.
In competitive rounds, players may enter their own scores on the scorecard (it is not necessary for a marker to do it). It is also not necessary to have a marker physically certify the player’s scores, although some form of verbal certification should take place. Some clubs may request the golfer to send a WhatsApp photo of the scorecard to the competition organisers.
After the round, scores should be entered using the HNA App or website, and not the terminals at the club.
Quote of the Month
“Hit the shot you know you can hit, not the one you think you should.” – Dr Bob Rotella