Good manners on the green in the days of Covid-19

Good manners on the green in the days of Covid-19

Phase 2 finally saw the reopening of the golf courses, much to the delight of us golf addicts. As with so many other things, however, it will be impossible to return to the usual game modes for the time being. The watchwords are “safe play” and “no gatherings,” which translate into a series of many small regulations. Let’s see together how bon ton on the green has evolved in the days of Covid-19.

1. Give others their space

Social distancing is perhaps the rule that best matches the game of golf. Even in happier times, it has always been rude to loiter around someone who is preparing to strike. First of all, you risk distracting him at a sensitive time. Second, even the best can make mistakes-you never know where the ball might end up.

To minimize the risk of infection, always keep about 2 meters between you and the other player. Instead, to avoid being inadvertently hit, always keep to the right of the player and never have your back to the player. Finally, avoid going back and forth or talking on your cell phone while the other person is getting ready.

2. Be punctual

Punctuality should always be sacred, regardless of the presence or absence of a virus. At this time, however, it is even more important. In fact, circles are scheduling departures every 10 to 15 minutes or so to avoid gatherings on the starting tees. Even “just 5 minutes” of delay can therefore become a problem, both for safety and for the organization.

3. Don’t be too slow

Each player has his own pace, and there is nothing wrong with that. Too slow a game has always been a problem, however, since it also risks slowing down the game of those who come after you. At this particular time, it also facilitates the formation of assemblages in the field, with all that that entails in terms of safety.

To avoid slowing down the game too much:

  • leaves the green immediately once the hole is finished;
  • don’t take practice swings off the starting tee, especially if there are other players waiting;
  • if you realize you are much slower than others, you give way to those who follow.

4. Always bring disinfectant and gloves

By the beginning of Phase 1, disinfectant had become an almost unobtainable commodity. Now the situation is far better: no excuses and get yourself a nice bottle of hand and surface disinfectant before you go out to play. Sanitizing wipes are also fine, as long as they are specific for that purpose.

Disinfectant is used to sanitize anything you want to touch that might touch other players. Do you need to use the ball dispenser? Put on disposable gloves, pick up balls, throw away gloves, disinfect hands and balls. Same for any object or machinery that is also accessible to others.

It may seem cumbersome and even a bit tedious, but it will minimize the risk of transmitting the virus or becoming infected.

5. Do not touch anything you find in the field

Before Covid-19, helping a friend look for a lost ball or object was considered good manners. Now it is best to avoid, unless it is a person you live with, such as wife/husband or children. In fact, it is recommended not to touch anything in the field.

The reasons are as seen above: not everyone may have been as careful as you, so the object in question could be a vehicle for the virus. This applies to balls, irons, bags, dropped scarves. Unfortunately, it also applies to the signage, the flag and the pothole itself. The protocol issued by the FIG even requires that the ball be retrieved using devices that avoid contact with the hole.


Getting used to all these new rules will be a bit tricky, at least at first, but the important thing is to get back into the game!

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