Golf courses are beginning to reopen across the country in spite of rising COVID-19 cases. While it may seem like golf is a safe way to escape from COVID-19 fears, there are several risks on the golf course. PGA Tour caddies and players have been reported as testing positive for COVID-19 as well as several golf course employees across the country.
Staying safe on the golf course requires following recommendations from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases including:
- Wear a face mask.
- Practice social distancing.
- Practice good personal health habits.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Disinfect high touch surfaces.
- Avoid the 19th
The actual golf course doesn’t pose the greatest risk. The locker room, the golf car, and the 19th hole are the areas that pose the greatest risk.
- Avoid the Locker Room
Although the locker room is typically a place to relax, socialize and get ready for the course, it poses the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Several high touch surfaces increase chance of exposure. Arrive at the course in your athletic wear, put your shoes on in your car or outdoors, and head home to change after play. If you must use the restroom or the locker room, bring sanitizing wipes and plenty of hand sanitizer. Wear a mask when inside the clubhouse or locker room.
- Sanitize Your Golf Cart
If you have your own golf car, use it. If you need to rent one from the golf course, bring sanitizing wipes and wipe the entire cart before using it. Apply hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day and remain six feet away from anyone not in your immediate golf car. Consider using a disposable steering wheel cover or temporary protective film on high touch areas. Bring your own drinks, if possible, to limit exposure.
- Avoid the 19thHole
Many golf courses have limited or completely shut down hospitality services to prevent the spread of coronavirus. If your golf course is serving food and drink, it is recommended that you sit outside and distance yourself six feet or more from other patrons. The most common form of transmission is from interpersonal contact. As much as we want things to be normal again, protecting ourselves and others should be the priority.
Golfing is one of the safest sports to play during the pandemic. It is outdoors, is not a contact sport, and doesn’t require sharing equipment. As long as you take the proper precautions, golfing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during this uncertain time.