Golf Carts Now Allowed in RI, Leagues & Tournaments Prohibited

Rhode Island golfers rejoice. 

Golf carts are now allowed in Rhode Island, according tot he new guidelines released but he Department of Business Regulation after 10 p.m. on Wednesday night. 

“While we are still working on critical needs for our clubs, we are pleased to report some key advancements including: 10 minute tee times, push/pull and golf cart usage (single rider only; double if from the same household) and opening of practice areas, among others,” writes RIGA Executive Director Bob Ward in an email to clubs obtained by GolfNewsRI. 

As GolfNewsRI reported, golf carts were previously made available to those with disabilities back on April 29. 

Prior to that, carts were completely banned in the state of Rhode Island. 

Carts are now allowed in RI. PHOTO: Bradley Johnson/Flickr Commons

No Tournament or Leagues 

One negative about the newest regulations is that they prohibit organized tournaments and leagues. 

In Rhode Island, many leagues were just weeks or less away from starting up. 

“We have expressed concern regarding this provision, and believe further clarification will follow soon on this point. We believe the intention is to prohibit shotgun style events. We will update you further as clarification is provided, but please note that strict social distancing and social gathering restrictions remain in place,” writes RIGA. 

As GolfNewsRI has reported, RIGA has already canceled all tournaments through May 15. 

It seems likely that more tournaments will be canceled. 

Out-of-State Residents Still Banned 

Under the new regulations, Out-of-State Residents are still not allowed to play golf unless they are here on an extended stay and have completed 14 days of self-quarantine. 

“We remain committed to further expanding this to permit transient out of state club members to play golf, and will keep everyone up to date as the process evolves,” writes RIGA. 

See the Full List of Regulations Below: 

  • Only Rhode Island residents and persons who are in this state for an extended stay and have completed 14 days of self-quarantining can play golf in Rhode Island. 
  • All food and beverage sales shall follow the most recent Executive Order, regulations and/or guidance as it relates to restaurants. 
  • Groups of 5 or more must not congregate anywhere on the property before or after playing according to the Governor’s Executive Order. 
  • The Tee Time Policy is 10 minutes between groups. 
  • Practice areas may open provided: social distancing protocols are in effect at all time; putting and chipping areas are limited to 5 people at a time; driving ranges must space players at least 12 feet apart; all balls, baskets, and any items of common touch are cleaned and sanitized between each use. 
  • Golf cart usage is limited to one golfer per cart (or two golfers per cart if from the same household), and all golf carts must be sanitized before and after each round of play. Subject to the rider limits and sanitary requirements, a golf cart will be made available for use by any individual with an ADA-recognized or medically documented disability who requests it. The golf course may verify disability status through the tee time registration process by inquiring if the golfer has a DMV issued parking placard. These accommodation provisions will be included in the golf course’s written procedures with respect to COVID-19 protocols. 
  • Push carts are allowed and must be sanitized before and after each round of play. 
  • Groups of players are restricted to no more than 4 players at one time. 
  • All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf clubs or rental golf clubs is not allowed.
  • Parking lots must be monitored by the club to ensure that tailgating does not happen. 
  • Flag sticks must remain in the hole. Cups should be raised, lined, flipped or otherwise modified to prevent touching by players. 
  • Bunker rakes must be removed, and ball washers must be removed or covered. 
  • Retail stores/shops may open on a pickup only basis, or as provided under any department guidance issued for retail stores. 
  • Restrooms may be used, but locker rooms, lounge areas, spas, must otherwise be closed. Restrooms must be cleaned frequently throughout the day. 
  • All golfers shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering unless doing so would damage the person’s health. Face coverings are not required for golfers where they can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people. 
  • Organized tournaments and leagues are prohibited.

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