Last Update :3/23/2020

PARK and PLAY Program: Making Your Course Social Distance Ready

Guidelines for Golf Course Operation



PARK and PLAY Program: Making Your Course Social Distance Ready

NGCOA feels it’s important to support public health and safety initiatives. So to adhere to the so­cial distancing requirement, we’ve created this list of measures you can take to implement a “Park and Play” program at your course. The Park and Play program gives your golfers confidence that they can drive to your course, park their cars, get to and around the course, and back to the parking lot in as safe an environment as possible.

These measures align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “social distancing” and sanitation practices, and have been reviewed and approved by a phy­sician at the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Once adopted by your staff and your customers, these measures will allow your course to continue operations, help the public feel more comfortable, and set expectations on near term limitations during this trying time.

·       Encourage golfers to pay in advance over the phone with a credit card, show up to a pre-positioned sanitized cart, and proceed to the first tee without personal contact.

·       Recommend all customers update credit card information on file and book tee times or order food and beverage services DIRECTLY with the club via PHONE during the social distancing period.

·       Place appropriate signage outside the pro-shop and clubhouse entries briefly outlin­ing the social distancing guidelines in place.

·       Place appropriate signage on carts and around the clubhouse with the phone number to call in food orders with an explanation that credit card transactions are requested.

·       Eliminate sit-down food and beverage services. Use “call-ahead,” “take-out, and/or “to go” services only. Consider delivery as an option from the beverage cart, or an ad­ditional golf cart if feasible.

·       Provide protective gloves to all staff handling cash or credit cards during all transac­tions.

·       Consider increasing your tee time intervals to spread players out on the course.

·       Direct players to leave the pin in the cup at all times. You can also raise the cup up an inch above the green surface and count it when the ball hits it. This is a good time for “gimmies.”

·       Follow all guidance to not exceed gathering limits established by local and state au­thorities.

·       Conduct no indoor events if possible.

·       Remove ball washing stations or place out of usable areas.

·       Remove all trash cans from the golf course.

·       Remove rakes from the course and temporarily play these areas as non hazards. Put a local rule in place that permits placing your golf ball in any bunker on the course.

·       Spread out driving range stations to separate customers.

·       Remove all water stations from the course and either provide bottled water or advise them to purchase beverages prior to tee off.

·       Remove bulk scorecard, pencil and tee holders from starter areas. Only issue when requested.

·       After play, ask golfers to go directly to their carts and park them in designated areas.

·       Ask your customers to personally dispose of any trash they may have in the nearby receptacles.

·       Update your website to indicate you are participation in the “Park and Play” program.

Preparing Your Facility

·       Eliminate walk-up tee times and require tee times be made in advance, while encour­aging advance pay. Update your website to indicate this.

·       Provide clear professional signage informing guests of operational changes and en­courage recommended sanitation practices.

·       Increase the frequency of routine cleaning, sanitization and disinfection of all loca­tions, especially all common and high traffic areas, and frequently touched surfaces.

·       Increase the number of hand sanitizer stations throughout the clubhouse, especially entry points and lobby.

·       Increase frequency of HVAC system filter changing, and schedule more frequent cleaning of the system.

·       Do not provide rental clubs during this period but, if necessary, ensure sanitation pri­or to issuance.

·       Remove all non-essential devices from the range, such as bag stands or den caddies. Place balls on the range for your customers so they can be accessed using a club.

·       Remove all merchandise items, normally smaller accessories, from your counter and place them out of reach of any customers that may be inside.

·       Minimize indoor seating in bar and restaurant as these seating should be limited and spread out for those awaiting “to go” orders only.

·       Ensure golf carts and other rental equipment are properly sanitized prior to issuing to customers.

·       Ensure approved antimicrobial products are used for all sanitation procedures.

·       Disconnect or remove water dispenser/coolers; this includes on-course units unless they offer foot control activation. Consider providing bottled water to players.

·       Remove sand containers, coolers or anything from a golf cart that could be “shared.” This includes scorecards, tees, pencils and towels - these items should not be of­fered during this time.

Short Game and Putting Practice Areas: Remove shag bags and devices that collect or push balls (such as PVC piping) from the area. Place alignment sticks, or stakes on the green as targets, and/or turn the cups upside down and leave in the hole. Remove all flags and institute a “bring your own practice balls policy.”

·       Remove bar stools if the bar is open for “to go” service; do not promote seating.

·       If portable restrooms are used, they must include hand washing stations with foot-activated devices adjacent to the units.

·       Ensure range balls are cleaned thoroughly with soap after every pick up prior to mak­ing available for customers.

Preparing Your Staff

·       Ensure staff are trained on hygiene, sanitation and food handling to learn about epi­demic prevention and control.

·       Ensure staff can recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and know how to act responsi­bly if they detect or exhibit symptoms.

·       All staff handling cash or credit cards must wear protective gloves during all transac­tions.

·       Encourage golfers and staff to replace handshakes with other touch-less forms of greeting. 


--Ronnie Miles
Director of Advocacy
National Golf Course Owners Association

Click Here to Read a Related Article


[ More News ]

Join NGCOA Mid-Atlantic - Great Membership Benefits!

NGCOA MA Annual Meeting Registration Open, The Crossvines Winery and Poolesville Golf Cousre, Wednesday, October 4th

Current Golfer Mindset and it’s impact on Facility Planning

Sagacity Golf Partners with NC GCOA

Virginia Beach Golf Trips Made Easy

Custom Williamsburg Golf Trips with Golden Horseshoe, Kingsmill & Condos

Ready to Sell?, Aerification and Prof. Jakubowski on Golf Turf and Water

For Sale: The Crossings Golf Club, Durham, NC - Hilda W. Allen Real Estate

Save the Date - October 4th, NGCOA MA Annual Meeting at Poolesville GC

Club Tax Assessments, The Concept of Value and RSM's Phil Newman on Finances

NGCOA MA / NC Summer Newsletter - click here to read

Reminder: The Latest from Golf Business Advisors!

Call for Offers - Westchester CC (FL)

Golf Acquisition Opportunities (3) - FL, PA, & NY

National Golf Day - 2023 - Outside the Box

Golf Course Acquisition Opportunity - Country Club of Otterkill (NY)

Debt - The (not so) Silent Club Killer

The Cost of Golf - Is it $ustainable?

National Golf Day Registration Open

​Private Club Governance & Management - Defining Roles

Virginia Golf Colleagues Mourn the Loss of Paul Michaelian

NCA Webinar on Your Club's Real Estate Tax Assessment

Golf Property Analysis & Valuation - 2nd Edition Now Available

Erik Larsen incorporates traditional elements into St. Johns (FL) Golf Course to Rave Reviews

Choosing the Best Management for Your Club or Golf Course

Measuring Performance, Selling Solutions, Clubs, Fraud & a Hotline, & The GPA Practice Tee

Fall Issue of Mid-Atlantic Golf Business Newsletter Joint with NC GCOA - Click Here to Read

Register for the 2022 NGCOA MA Annual Meeting, November 2

Selling in Uncertain Times - Develop a Strategy

Just Listed by Hilda W. Allen Real Estate, Inc.

Some Reponse to Why Clubs are Closed on Mondays

Save the Date NOW for Golf Business Conference 2023

Summer Issue of Mid-Atlantic Golf Business Newsletter Joint with North Carolina GCOA - Click Here to Read!

Golf Property Analysts - Private Club Planning, Golf as it was meant to be, Is It Time to Sell?

A Consumer/Culture Based Approach to Private Club Planning

Transparency at Private Clubs

The Golf Pro Crisis & Its Impact on Clubs

Golf Property Analysts - Your Club's Tax Assessment

Hilda Allen - the source for golf course sales and advising owners

NGCOA Mid-Atlantic Annual Meeting Set for Nov. 2 at Independence GC in Richmond

Fairfax County Park Authority seeks Golf Course General Manager

Announcing Facility BMP Virtual Workshop and Prize Contest

Another Beautiful Listing by Hilda Allen Real Estate!

Just Listed by Hilda Allen - The Frog GC in Georgia, a Fazio Design

National Golf Day 2022 - Information and Registration

Mattaponi Springs Golf Club in Ruther Glen, VA Seeks General Manager

Larry's Interview on TurfNet Renovation report Podcast

Golf Leagues - A Lightspeed Guide to Growing Business

Register your course for Women's Golf Day - June 7th

Download the Pellucid Presentation at the Annual Meeting

Golf Property Analysts - Time to Sell?

New Listings and Recent Sales from Hilda Allen Real Estate

Hanover Golf Club sold to unidentified local buyer

Club Master Planning - A Market Based Approach

January Abstract OtR: '21 Sol Scorecard is 6 birdies, 2 pars!

Damon DeVito Named the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Golf Leader

Golf Course Acquisition Opportunity - Maryland - For Sale By Auction

Sep Weather, Aug Util; steady, solid results against strong "20 comps"

Employee Retention Tax Credit May Save You Thousands $

Glenwood Golf Course redevelopment gets planning commission approval

Google's New "Local" Ads Provide Big Advantages to Golf Courses

The Appraisal Journal - Valuation of Private Clubs for Tax Assessments

Morning Read and Sports Illustrated Announce Editorial Partnership

Is it Time to Review Your Golf Property Tax Assessment?


Join Our Email List