Procedures for Conducting Competitions
This document contains the procedures the FSGA is implementing at our competitions. These procedures were created by following guidance provided by the CDC, Back2Golf, and state and local governments. The FSGA's three-phased plan follows the state's three-phased plan. This is a fluid document that will be updated as new information is released by governing bodies and as social norms change. Additional measures may be implemented by host clubs or local governments.
Last updated: August 31st
Phase One and Two of Reopening
Safety & Authority - FSGA will conduct competitions following guidance consistent with Federal, State & County laws and guidelines by the Governor's Office, CDC & Back2Golf.
Location Dependent - Competitions may have differing procedures in place in different parts of the state.
Limited Fields - Fields may be limited due to the availability of golf carts.
Field Reductions - Field sizes will be reduced when necessary in a fair and equitable way.
Shotgun Starts - Shotguns will be not be used for fields in excess of 50 players.
Club Policies - FSGA will verify in advance that clubs are generally following sanitation protocols and social distancing procedures are in place at the host club.
Refunds - Full refunds will provided to players withdrawing due to COVID19 concerns or changes in their health. To receive a full refund the player must contact the FSGA via email or phone.
Communication - FSGA will communicate with the host clubs regularly regarding their facility and the FSGA procedures.
Player Communications - Players will be notified via email of the procedures and their responsibilities approximately one week prior to each competition. Players that do not accept the set procedures then they will have one to withdraw via email or phone and receive a full refund.
Masks - Players are not required to wear masks unless the host club requires them in certain areas.
PPE & Other - Players are responsible for providing any PPE that they wish to use. Players will be encouraged to bring sanitizers.
Caddies - Prohibited.
Spectators - Two maximum per player and the spectators must be a related family member or a significant other. Spectator carts will be allowed to rent if available. Some host clubs may prohibit spectators.
Arrival to the Course - Limited to ONE hour prior to the player's scheduled tee time.
Registration - Performed at a distance. No items will be handed out.
Water & Food - Not provided by the FSGA or necessarily available at the course. Players are responsible for bringing their own or purchasing from the club if available. The availability of F&B will be communicated via email to the players approximately one week in advance.
No Skins Games - Will not be conducted.
Practice Areas - Normally limited to 50 or fewer people and must maintain social distancing.
Carts - Individual carts will be used. To increase the field size players may have the option to walk if the host club allows it and it is a walkable course. Direct family members may share a cart. Four-Ball events - partners will share carts. The use of dividers in golf carts is becoming more common and the FSGA may ask players to share carts if the host club has dividers installed in their carts.
Starting & Scoring Areas
Player Greetings - Players must not shake hands, hug or physically touch other players or officials.
Tents & Banners - Not used to eliminate touch points.
Starter Boxes - Not used. Players must provide their own tees and ball markers.
Notice to Players - (Local Rules) and Hole Location Sheets may be emailed in advance. Hole location sheets for championships and qualifiers will be placed in the cart by individuals who have been sanitized prior.
Scorecards - Players will not exchange scorecards before or after the round. Each player will have a scorecard on their cart for another player in their group and the scorecard will include a strip to record their own scores. After the round, players will enter the scoring with signage instructing players where to stand. Then players will verbally go over their hole-by-hole scores until their is agreement on each score. Finally, each player will verbally sign of on their official score. The scorecards will never be exchanged and prior to exiting the scoring area, the scorecards will be dropped in a box lined with a garbage bag which will only be accessed by a Committee member if necessary. Entering scores into Golf Genius on the course is allowed and strongly encouraged.
Scoring - Electronic scoring using smart phones is encouraged. Verbal confirmation (signing) of the scorecard is required after the round.
Scoreboards - Likely not be used. A hyperlink to scores on the FSGA website will be emailed to all players.
Player Gifts / Tee Favors - Anything given to the players will be done so by placing them on the player's cart by individuals who have been sanitized before touching the items.
Golf Course Set-Up & Operations
Rakes - Normally removed from the course or one will be placed in each cart. Players will be instructed to do their best to smooth areas with their feet and club prior to exiting the bunker. Balls will be played as they lie in bunkers (NO free relief from footprints). The following Local Rule is in effect as of 9/1/20.
- DISTURBED AREAS IN BUNKERS: When rakes have been removed from the course, players are entitled to relief under Rule 16.1c from disturbed areas in bunkers for lie of ball and area of intended swing only. Disturbed areas are footprints, depressions and other non-smooth areas caused by other players. In taking relief under Rule 16.1c a ball must be dropped in the bunker within one club-length of the nearest point of complete relief not nearer the hole. For a one-stroke penalty, a ball may be dropped outside the bunker using the Back-On-The-Line Relief option.
Holes - Devices will be placed in the hole to prohibit the ball from falling to the bottom of the cup. Balls that deflect out of the hole will not be considered holed and must be played as it lies. The Committee will determine if the cup modifications provided the course are acceptable, otherwise PVC will be used and provided by the FSGA.
Flagsticks - Must remain in the hole and not be touched. A Code of Conduct will be instituted and anyone not following this stipulation will be subject to a warning for the first breach, the general penalty for the second breach, and disqualification for the third breach.
Trash - No additional trash receptacles will be added to the course. Players must not touch trash receptacles when disposing of trash. If trash receptacles are not available, or are full, players must take their trash with them as they leave the club.
Practice Areas - Limited to a maximum of 50 players at any time, or a lower number for small practice areas. Social distancing must be maintained.
Weather Evacuations - Will differ based on the options at each club. Players will be assigned to wait in certain areas during suspensions or seek shelter in their car. Spectators will be asked to evacuate to their cars. Communications on restarting will be sent via text.
Awards & Gift Certificates - Trophies will be placed on a sanitized table. Awards will not be handed out to players. Gift certificate amounts will be given to the Golf Shop; physical gift cards will not be given out or they will be mailed after the competition.
Departure from the Course - Players should leave the site after completing their round unless the player has potential to qualify or be in a playoff.
PPE Equipment - Officials are responsible for providing their own PPE equipment (masks, sanitizers, gloves, etc.)
Masks - Officials must wear masks when they are interacting in close proximity with players or are in the area of the clubhouse. Examples include registration, starting, a ruling, and scoring. Removal of the mask is acceptable on the course when away from players.
Clubhouse & Lunch - Officials must wear masks when in the clubhouse and should take lunch to-go.
Registration - Performed at a distance - sometimes standing with a clipboard, otherwise at a table to maintain distance. Items will not be handed to players.
Course Setup - Tee markers will be sanitized prior to being placed on the setup official's cart. Must re-sanitize yourself after setup is complete.
Starters - No tents, coolers, or other items on the tee. Starters will social distance from the players be standing in the area of the tee, but not near the players. No documents will be passed to the players. Starter boxes will not be available.
Scoring Area - Arranged to allow social distancing. "Touch points" will be eliminated or sanitized regularly. Players will not sit down in chairs. Blue tape and signage will be used to indicate where players must stand. Players will verbally confirm each player's scorecard before the score is accepted via a verbal signature from the marker and player. A screen or projector may be used so the players can easily see their hole-by-hole scores in the computer.
Radios - Sanitized prior to being placed on the volunteer's cart and they will be sanitized upon completing officiating duties.
Committee Packets - Placed on each official's cart and placed their by someone who was sanitized prior.
Phase Three of Reopening (the "New Normal")
Golf Courses - Golf course operations are fully functional with no restrictions, but have enhanced sanitation protocols.
Competitions - Golf competitions are held without restrictions. Shared carts, shotguns, lunch functions, etc. are allowed.
Refunds - Normal FSGA refund policy is resumed.
The FSGA will return to near normal operations following guidance from state and local governments.