Golf Carts Banned, Tougher Restrictions Put in Place on RI Golfers
There are further restrictions for those playing golf in Rhode Island starting today, Wednesday, April 8.
According to an email to clubs obtained by GolfNewsRI from RIGA Executive Director Bob Ward the new regulations include the banning of golf carts, personal push carts are allowed but only if brought by golfers, and no rental clubs are allowed, among other things.
“You will all have new restrictions starting tomorrow which may be difficult to implement, but I believe the weather may help you get through the next couple of days in preparation for the weekend. In order to keep golf open in Rhode Island we were asked to further safety measures to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 becomes minimal,” said Ward in an email.
Rhode Island is the only New England state that is still allowed to play golf.
“I understand how stressful it has been. Minus a couple glitches here and there, I believe we are doing our best to represent the golf industry in a positive way,” added Ward.
The complete list of regulation are as follows:
- All previous guidelines are still in place.
- Out of state residents are not allowed to play golf publicly or privately.
- All food and beverage must be take out only.
- Private club monthly food minimums. Out of state residents cannot travel into Rhode Island for takeout service. Please create policies where food minimums can be addressed.
- Groups of five or more must not congregate anywhere on the property before or after playing according to the Governor’s Executive Order.
- Practice putting greens, driving ranges and chipping areas must be closed.
- Groups of play are restricted to no more than FOUR players at one time.
- Parking lots must be monitored by the club to ensure that tailgating does not happen.
- Flagsticks must remain in the hole. It is recommended that hole liners be raised or pool noodles be added to the stick so picking a ball out of the hole doesn’t occur.
- Bunker rakes must be removed and ball washers must be removed or covered.
- New Tee Time policy must be 15 minutes between groups.
Golf carts are NOT allowed.
- Personal push carts are allowed only if brought by the golfer, club push carts are not allowed.
- All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf clubs or rental golf clubs are not allowed.
- Please communicate with your members or customers of these new rules and add that they must stay in their car until five minutes before their tee time and go directly to the first tee.
As the main part of golf season gets closer, Ward advises clubs to prepare for what is next.
“As we prepare for what will come next, please start thinking about business plans that will get you through the season. Social gathering restrictions will continue well into the summer.
Some of your normal business practices will have to be modified. I have been in discussion with the other golf industry leaders in New England. We are jointly having discussions on creating a best practices information piece as we get into the main part of the golf season.
Realistically, we are going to have restrictions on our business models that will make running a golf course in a traditional fashion difficult.”