It is a new ball game hole.
Golf is one of the few things people can still do during the coronavirus epidemic – but the new pandemic rules are far from the basis of the course, operators said Thursday.
Players have been hit by a series of anti-germ regulations and etiquette suggestions in the three-state area, ranging from one person’s limit per cart, to no touching flag or to reaching holes for balls.
“We are not encouraging the handshake or the punch, and to keep six feet from each person,” said Chris Mulvihill of the Crystal Springs Golf Resort in Hamburg. “Some people say, whoa, which is extreme but we are trying to be proactive.”
The golf course has released a game-changing list of new rules which includes removing rakes from sand traps and ball washers along with golfers pushing not to end nearby shots to avoid touching the inside of the holes.
The resort also installed “raised holes” that the balls “easily bounce” to urge golfers not to use their hands, Mulvihill said. In addition to disinfecting all the driving range balls between each player, he also opted for a cashless set-up.
Other courses, including Fox Hollow Golf Club and Neshanic Valley Golf Course in New Jersey, urged players to walk instead of driving carts to encourage social removal. Others are urging players to book early, so there is no need to enter the pro shop.
“We are disinfecting the carts between uses, encouraging golfers to drop the flag and pulling our cups slightly so they don’t have to touch and touch them,” said Matthew Galvin, owner of Morningstar Golf and Hospitality in New Jersey.
Its course, the Fox Hollow Golf Club, previously did not have a walking rule which was later demolished. “Now let’s let people walk if they want to,” he said. “That space is good.”
But even with new, more stringent rules, links have been crammed, golf course workers said.
“Tomorrow I have a sheet full of Tee,” said Tom, a pro shop worker at the Neshanic Valley golf course
He said the green was roughly as busy as two weeks ago.
“People are going crazy,” he said. “They are coming here because they can’t take it home anymore!”