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Safety Standards and Checklist: Golf Facilities

Reopening Phase III mandatory reopening safety standards, recommended best practices and a checklist for golf facilities. Updated: July 6, 2020

These Phase 3 standards are issued for golf activities conducted outdoors and the associated facilities (e.g., pro shop, clubhouse). Indoor golf activities such as indoor driving ranges should follow Indoor Recreation guidance, available on the Reopening Plan website

Table of Contents

Key Documents for Reopening

Linked below are three important documents:

  1. Workplace Safety Standards - Complete and official sector-specific standards for reopening golf facilities (all workplaces must also comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces)
  2. Protocol Summary - User friendly summary of the standards and best practices
  3. Checklist - Printable tool to help businesses perform the required self-certification for opening and ensure compliance with the sector-specific standards 

Social Distancing

Each business must monitor customer entries and exits and limit building occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:

50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder

Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space

In any case, no enclosed space within the facility may exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet

All occupancy counts and calculations shall include visitors, staff, and other workers

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals:

Close or reconfigure common spaces and high density areas where workers and customers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms and eating areas for workers; lobbies and waiting areas for customers) to allow social distancing

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install physical barriers for pro shop counters, checkout stations, etc. where possible

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage visitors to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the pro shop if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)

Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing

Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

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

Golfers may remove face coverings where they can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least 6 feet of distance from players and other persons present; instruct players that they must wear face coverings when they are unable to remain a distance of 6 feet from others

Encourage golfers to walk or use a push cart, but allow golf carts to be used only if each cart is used by and contains only a single rider or a group of golfers living in the same house.  Golf carts and push carts must be cleaned and sanitized after each use

Tournaments and other events (such as “shotgun style” events) must follow EEA guidance for tournaments, available on the EEA Reopening Site

Recommended Best Practices

Encourage the use of contactless payment methods whenever possible

Hygiene Protocols

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at the workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and customers of hygiene and safety protocols

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances, exits and throughout floor areas of the clubhouse or other indoor spaces for workers and customers

Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers

Disinfect shared equipment before use by another employee

Use single-use scorecards and pencils

Notify golfers that flag sticks must remain in the hole. Hole liners must be raised or otherwise adjusted so that players do not reach into the hole to retrieve a ball

Caddies and bag handlers are allowed, provided social distancing is maintained, cloth face coverings and gloves are worn, and hand sanitizer is used. Encourage caddies and bag handles to wipe down clubs and other equipment after each use

All shared and rental equipment, such as clubs, must be cleaned and disinfected after each use

Staffing and Operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion

Maintain a log of workers and customers to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed

Workers must stay home if feeling ill

If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in Commonwealth’s Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces

Facilities should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Use of driving range, putting green and other practice facilities must follow social distancing protocols and must require use of face coverings 

Modify driving range hitting areas to ensure a minimum 6-feet of separation between players

Require customers to reserve tee times in advance

Ensure a sufficient gap between group tee times to allow for social distancing

Allow water fountains / coolers to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Customers and workers should bring their own water bottles

Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service.  Examples include:

Restaurants: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Bars: Must remain closed until Phase 4

Pools: Outdoor pools must follow the latest EEA guidance; Indoor pools must follow the latest health club and fitness center guidance

Gyms/Locker rooms: Must follow the latest health club and fitness center guidance

Spas: Must follow sector-specific standards (e.g., massages must follow the latest close contact business guidance, saunas or steam rooms must remain closed until Phase 4)

Pro shops: Must follow the latest retail guidance

Private events: Must follow the latest indoor and outdoor event guidelines

Recommended Best Practices

Businesses are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily, and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas, high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, railings, counters), shared equipment (e.g., bunker rakes, ball washers), and practice equipment (e.g., range balls, baskets)

In the event of a presumptive or positive case of COVID-19 at the golf facility, the clubhouse, pro shop, and other interior common areas must shut down for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance. Operations may continue at outdoor facilities provided that all interior spaces remained closed while being cleaned and sanitized in accordance with CDC guidance

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Disinfect golf carts and pull carts after each use

Checklist

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Ensure >6ft  between individuals

Each business must monitor customer entries and exits and limit building occupancy at all times to the greater of the following:

50% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder

Buildings for which no permitted occupancy limitation is on record may allow 10 persons (including staff) per 1,000 square feet of accessible space

In any case, no enclosed space within the facility may exceed occupancy of 10 persons per 1,000 square feet

All occupancy counts and calculations shall include visitors, staff, and other workers

Ensure separation of 6 feet or more between individuals:

Close or reconfigure common spaces and high density areas where workers and customers are likely to congregate (e.g., break rooms and eating areas for workers; lobbies and waiting areas for customers) to allow social distancing

Physical partitions must separate workstations that cannot be spaced out (partitions must be at least 6 feet in height)

Install physical barriers for pro shop counters, checkout stations, etc. where possible

Install visual social distancing markers to encourage visitors to remain 6 feet apart (e.g., lines outside of the pro shop if applicable, lines to make payments, lines to use the restroom)

Mark rooms and hallways to indicate 6 feet separation

Stagger lunch and break times for workers, regulate the maximum number of people in one place and ensure at least 6 feet of physical distancing

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

Establish directional pathways to manage visitor flow for foot traffic, to minimize contact (e.g., one-way entrance and exit, one-way pathways). Post clearly visible signage regarding these policies

Golfers may remove face coverings where they can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least 6 feet of distance from players and other persons present; instruct players that they must wear face coverings when they are unable to remain a distance of 6 feet from others

Encourage the use of contactless payment methods whenever possible

Encourage golfers to walk or use a push cart, but allow golf carts to be used only if each cart is used by and contains only a single rider or a group of golfers living in the same house.  Golf carts and push carts must be cleaned and sanitized after each use

Tournaments and other events (such as “shotgun style” events) must follow EEA guidance for tournaments, available on the EEA Reopening Site

HYGIENE PROTOCOLS

Apply robust hygiene protocols

Ensure access to handwashing facilities on site, including soap and running water, and allow sufficient break time for workers to wash hands frequently; alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol may be used as an alternative

Supply workers at the workplace location with adequate cleaning products (e.g., sanitizer, disinfecting wipes)

Post visible signage throughout the site to remind workers and customers of hygiene and safety protocols

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol should be made available at entrances, exits and throughout floor areas of the clubhouse or other indoor spaces for workers and customers

Avoid sharing equipment and supplies between workers

Disinfect shared equipment before use by another employee

Use single-use scorecards and pencils

Notify golfers that flag sticks must remain in the hole. Hole liners must be raised or otherwise adjusted so that players do not reach into the hole to retrieve a ball

Caddies and bag handlers are allowed, provided social distancing is maintained, cloth face coverings and gloves are worn, and hand sanitizer is used. Encourage caddies and bag handles to wipe down clubs and other equipment after each use

All shared and rental equipment, such as clubs, must be cleaned and disinfected after each use

STAFFING & OPERATIONS

Include safety procedures in the operations

Provide training to workers on up-to-date safety information and precautions including hygiene and other measures aimed at reducing disease transmission, including:

Social distancing, hand-washing, proper use of face coverings

Self-screening at home, including temperature and symptom checks

Importance of not coming to work if ill

When to seek medical attention if symptoms become severe

Which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting and suffering from a severe case of the virus

Facilities must screen workers at each shift by ensuring the following:

Worker is not experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0 and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Worker has not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic

Worker has not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official

Workers who fail to meet the above criteria must be sent home

Adjust workplace hours and shifts (working teams with different schedules or staggered arrival / departure) to minimize contact across workers and reduce congestion

Maintain a log of workers and customers to support contact tracing (name, date, time, contact information) if needed

Businesses are encouraged to offer exclusive hours or other accommodations for those in high-risk populations as defined by the CDC

Workers who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) are encouraged to stay home

Workers are strongly encouraged to self-identify symptoms or any close contact to a known or suspected COVID-19 case to the employer

Workers must stay home if feeling ill

Encourage workers who test positive for COVID-19 to disclose to the workplace employer for purposes of cleaning / disinfecting and contact tracing. If the employer is notified of a positive case at the workplace, the employer shall notify the local Board of Health (LBOH) in the city or town where the workplace is located and assist the LBOH as reasonably requested to advise likely contacts to isolate and self-quarantine. Testing of other workers may be recommended consistent with guidance and / or at the request of the LBOH

Post notice to workers and customers of important health information and relevant safety measures as outlined in Commonwealth’s  Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces

Facilities should maintain operating hours that allow for on-going off-hour sanitation and cleaning

Limit visitors and service providers on site; shipping and deliveries should be completed in designated areas

Limit employee movement to discrete work zones to minimize overlap where possible

Use of driving range, putting green and other practice facilities must follow social distancing protocols and must require use of masks or face coverings

Modify driving range hitting areas to ensure a minimum 6-feet of separation between players

Require customers to reserve tee times in advance

Ensure a sufficient gap between group tee times to allow for social distancing

Allow water fountains / coolers to be used as refill stations only, provided that social distancing can be maintained. Customers and workers should bring their own water bottles

Additional on-site amenities and services may only open and operate when those amenities or services would otherwise be authorized to operate under the Commonwealth’s Phased Reopening Plan and then must adhere to all sector-specific safety protocols, available on the Reopening Plan website, applicable to the amenity or service.  Examples include:

Restaurants: Must follow the latest restaurant guidance

Bars: Must remain closed until Phase 4

Pools: Outdoor pools must follow the latest EEA guidance; Indoor pools must follow the latest health club and fitness center guidance

Gyms/Locker rooms: Must follow the latest health club and fitness center guidance

Spas: Must follow sector-specific standards (e.g., massages must follow the latest close contact business guidance, saunas or steam rooms must remain closed until Phase 4)

Pro shops: Must follow the latest retail guidance

Private events: Must follow the latest indoor and outdoor event guidelines

CLEANING & DISINFECTING

Incorporate robust hygiene protocols

Clean commonly touched surfaces in restrooms (e.g., toilet seats, doorknobs, stall handles, sinks, paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers) frequently and in accordance with CDC guidelines

Conduct frequent cleaning and disinfection of site (at least daily, and more frequently if feasible)

Keep cleaning logs that include date, time, and scope of cleaning

Conduct frequent disinfecting of heavy transit areas, high-touch surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, railings, counters), shared equipment (e.g., bunker rakes, ball washers),and practice equipment (e.g., range balls, baskets)

In the event of a presumptive or positive case of COVID-19 at the golf facility, the clubhouse, pro shop, and other interior common areas must shut down for a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace in accordance with current CDC guidance. Operations may continue at outdoor facilities provided that all interior spaces remained closed while being cleaned and sanitized in accordance with CDC guidance

Open windows and doors to increase airflow where possible

Disinfect golf carts and pull carts after each use

Phase III Downloads and Translations

Phase II Downloads and Translations

Additional resources below, including easy print versions of the sector-specific circular and checklist.

Additional Resources

Last updated: July 6, 2020
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