Kentucky Golf Association

COVID-19 Tournament Protocols

GOLF HOUSE KENTUCKY

TOURNAMENT OPERATIONS PROTOCOL

*COVID-19 RELATED GUIDELINES*

Updated May 13, 2021

 

The following protocols are approved by the Golf House Kentucky Board of Directors for the 2021 season as precautionary measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These protocols are designed in a responsible manner for all players, volunteers, host facility staff, and Golf House Kentucky staff. They are devised per the guidelines and recommendations outlined by the CDC and State Health officials and are subject to change.

These protocols are devised from State Health guidelines and the golf industry allied golf association’s “Back2Golf” guidelines (approved by the CDC).

These protocols will be executed consistently across all tournaments conducted by organizations in the family of Kentucky golf: Kentucky Golf Association, Kentucky PGA, Kentucky PGA Junior Tour, and Kentucky Golf Foundation. Executing these protocols consistently across the organizations is a responsible effort to eliminate doubt as to procedural actions while on site at an event. Any health concern not addressed in the protocols will be decided in a responsible manner.

We anticipate minor adjustments and modifications in operational execution will be necessary as facility accommodations are different. Again, the priority for each event is to be responsible in our efforts to follow CDC guidelines.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) and OTHER SUPPLIES

  • All tournament staff (GHK staff, rules officials, volunteers) are required to wear a mask in any situation where they interact with or are near others and when handling items that others may come in contact with during their tournament experience.
    • Masks will be supplied to the tournament staff by Golf House Kentucky.
  • Tournament participants are encouraged to bring their own masks and wear them when interacting with tournament staff and other individuals. Golf House Kentucky will NOT provide masks to tournament participants.
  • Food may be provided as part of the event. Facilities may offer food separate from the tournament provided it is offered in compliance with CDC and Kentucky Health Department guidelines and regulations.
  • It will be communicated to players that any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should withdraw from the tournament. Players withdrawing prior to the start of competition for COVID-19 reasons will be refunded their entry fee less $5 (processing fees).
  • A touchless thermometer will be available at the host site. Players will have their temperature taken on their starting tee prior to play.  
    • Any player experiencing a temperature of 100.4 F or higher and/or exhibiting symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 is not permitted to participate in a GHK event. If a player registers a temperature 100.4 or higher, they must wait 5 minutes before recording a second temperature check. If the second temperature recording is 100.4 or higher, the player will not be permitted to play in the tournament.
    • Any player exhibiting any symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention and doctor’s recommendation as to a return to play.
    • Any player diagnosed with COVID-19, or that has been in a group setting with family or friends that have recently tested positive for the virus, is not permitted to participate in any GHK event for 10 days following a diagnosis, regardless of symptoms, and must present a note from a doctor clearing them to the tournament director.
    • Any player found in violation of the above policies or found to have purposely hidden or not disclosed symptoms or diagnosis, will be prohibited from participating in GHK activities for a length of time to be determined by the GHK Board.

PRACTICE AREAS

  • Participants are not permitted to arrive at the host facility more than one (1) hour prior to their starting time. If a player arrives at the facility prior to one (1) hour of their starting time, they must remain in their vehicle.
  • Practice areas are only available to participants one (1) hour prior to their tee time.
  • Tournament staff will monitor the practice areas to ensure compliance of the time allotment.
  • Players are encouraged to leave the facility upon completion of their round. Exception: if following the final round of the event, a player is in contention for any prize, they will be permitted to remain on property. If they fall out of contention prior to completion of the championship, they are encouraged to leave the premises at that time.

STARTING PROCEDURES

  • Tee time, single and double tee starts, no shotgun events until further notice
  • Groups of 3 players: minimum of 10 minutes between tee time
  • Groups of 4 players: minimum of 10 minutes between tee times
  • The starting area is to be marked/roped off and posted with a sign restricting the area to the Starter and ONLY the players receiving instructions/teeing off.
    • NOTE: the first teeing area is not a part of and is outside the starting area
    • The starter will hand the card to the player of the competitor they keep.
  • Players may take photos of the tournament documents and refer to them during their round.
  • A starter’s box is viewed as a common area and players will not be allowed to access items normally located in a starter’s box. Please ask the starter for items located in the box.

ON THE COURSE

  • All players must play by the current USGA Rules of Golf and GHK Conditions of Competition.
  • Caddies are permitted and are subject to all requirements placed upon the player.
  • Players are encouraged to follow proper social distancing protocol and stay at least six feet away from other competitors, partners, and other individuals while on property.
  • Prior to or following a round, players are encouraged to refrain from shaking another player’s hand or contact of any kind with another individual.
  • Players should not touch another player’s equipment.
  • Golf car use is permitted with two passengers and both players are encouraged to wear facial covering while in the golf car.
  • All individuals are encouraged to maintain recommended social distancing when assisting players with ball searches, directional messaging, and all other possible interaction points.
  • Rules Officials should maintain recommended social distancing when assisting players with rules assistance. They must not assist the players with any situation where the official would deliberately need to touch either personal equipment of the player or golf course equipment.

SCORING PROCEDURE

  • Players will utilize the Golf Genius scoring application for posting hole by hole scores during each competition round.
  • One player will be designated by a GHK tournament official to digitally post all players’ scores in their pairing.
  • All players will be assigned a paper scorecard (official scorecard) and their designated marker will populate the scorecard for each hole played. Since the scorecard will be provided to the marker, exchanging of the scorecards on the first tee is not necessary.
  • Once the round is complete, players will be assisted by an official scorekeeper to verify all hole-by-hole scores are correct. The scorekeeper will be in a separate and safe space (GHK Scoring Tent). The scoring area is for players and officials only.
  • Players will sign and attest the scorecard according to USGA Rules of Golf
  • Players must remain in the designated scoring area until verification is complete. When the player leaves the scoring area, the score for that player is official. The player may not return to the scoring area once he/she has departed.
  • Digital leaderboards may be placed at the scoring area (streamed through facility TVs when applicable).

AWARDS PRESENTATION

  • All award presentations will be conducted immediately following conclusion of the tournament at a location near the 18th hole.
    • If the tournament has multiple divisions, division awards will be presented immediately following the conclusion of the respective division’s competition.
      • Following the awards presentation for that division, players of that division should depart the premises.
  • The Official in Charge will wear proper PPE, sanitize the awards, and lay them out in an organized fashion on the awards table.
  • The award ceremony will be conducted by the Official in Charge and include recognition of partners, host facility staff, and champion(s). When a player’s name is announced, they will proceed to the awards table and accept their respective award.
  • Photos will be taken following the conclusion of the awards presentation and will be taken individually or in a social distant manner.

INCLEMENT WEATHER & COURSE EVACUATION

  • Every effort will be made to provide advance notice of inclement weather systems approaching the tournament site for players to return to the clubhouse. If a suspension of play is announced, players are strongly encouraged to return to the clubhouse or designated safety area. However, storms can pop-up quickly during summer months. In the event the facility has on-course safety shelters, players will be reminded that while congregating in these areas social distancing and wearing facial coverings are encouraged. The shelter may not provide adequate space for players to maintain CDC guidelines, thus the reason for returning to the clubhouse.
  • Players must follow the prescribed procedure as outlined in the USGA Rules of Golf, Rule 5.7b, when play is suspended for a dangerous weather situation such as lightning.
  • All precautions must be taken to adhere to the current social distancing guidelines including clubhouse capacity, use of personal vehicles during delays, alternate buildings on property, etc.
  • Players must be given enough time to return to their playing positions before play is to resume.
  • All practice facilities will be closed during inclement weather. Players who have not started their round are subject to the same protocols provided in the “Practice Facilities” section of this document.

LOCAL RULES

  • Golf House Kentucky will provide updated information and clarifications concerning suggested modifications to the USGA Rules of Golf affected by CDC guidelines and governmental regulations.
  • As these changes occur and when they affect any of the tournament events or championships, the changes will be added to the Conditions of Competition.
  • USGA.rule related items have also been identified as modifications by Golf House Kentucky in the Tournament Operations Protocol Guidelines.

TOURNAMENT STAFF

  • The Tournament Staff will provide a responsible effort to ensure execution of all protocols while at all tournament sites and environments.
  • All tournament staff members must wear protective equipment while on property at a sanctioned event, as outlined in the COVID-19 tournament protocols.
  • Masks are required for use when in the presence of other persons or when handling items others may encounter during their tournament experience.
  • The Official in Charge will assign individuals to place signage for directional needs, CDC signage, time clocks, branded items, and starting and scoring tents and tables.
  • Starters and scorers must use their best judgment when complying with social distancing and the need for verbal interaction with the players and others.
  • All individuals should maintain recommended social distancing when assisting players with ball searches, directional messaging and all other possible interaction points.
  • Rules Officials must maintain recommended social distancing when assisting players with rules assistance. They must not assist the players with any situation where the official would deliberately need to touch either personal equipment of the player or golf course equipment.

SPECTATORS

  • Spectators are permitted; Spectators must follow prescribed current Covid-19 Protocols

HOST FACILITY CORRESPONDENCE

Golf House Kentucky will work with the Host Facility to offer the following guidelines for the 2021 season. This is in effort to be responsible in conducting our tournament programming for participants. The guidelines are consistent with CDC and State Health Organization’s protocols for social distancing. 

Guidelines:

  • The clubhouse must be open and follow the sanitation requirements put forth by the C.D.C and Kentucky State Health Organization
  • Restrooms must be open and available to players and tournament staff and must follow the sanitation requirements put forth by the CDC and State Health Organization.
  • Host facilities must provide PPE to staff members that may come in contact with individuals or handle items that others may come in contact with during their time on property.
  • All golf cars must follow the sanitation requirements put forth by the CDC and State Health Organization.
  • An appropriate supply of practice balls should be provided per player and must be cleaned and left in the hitting area for use. Players should not have to reach into a common area to acquire practice balls.
  • Food provided as a component of the event will be coordinated in advance between GHK and the facility. The facility may offer food per CDC and Kentucky State Health Department guidelines.

Golf House Kentucky Sponsors

About Golf House Kentucky

Golf House Kentucky is the umbrella organization for Kentucky’s Family of Golf Organizations: Kentucky Golf Association, Kentucky PGA and Kentucky Golf Foundation. The vision of Kentucky’s golf leaders, Golf House Kentucky was founded in 1978, and is headquartered in a picturesque country setting in Louisville, Kentucky. Golf House Kentucky conducts competitions for golfers of all ages, gender and skill levels (amateur, professional and junior), and provides valuable services to Kentucky PGA professionals and member golf facilities. Working in partnership with the USGA, Golf House Kentucky provides individual golfers and member golf facilities with a wide range of services: Handicapping, USGA Course and Slope Rating, award programs, club consulting and golf management software. The family’s philanthropic affiliate, Kentucky Golf Foundation promotes the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame, Kentucky golf museum and provides grant and scholarship programs for youth in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Contact Us

1116 Elmore Just Drive
Louisville, Kentucky 40245
(502) 243-8295
kentucky@kygolf.org