Associations in the Michigan Golf Alliance have received specific questions from members about Executive Order 2020-77 asking what the language means for golf operations and where to find best practices and guidelines. We wish to provide the latest FAQ, operational resources and answers to commonly asked questions.
The following FAQ for Executive Order 2020-77 was recently updated at Michigan.gov:
Q: Are golf courses allowed to be open?
A: Yes, subject to specific conditions as required by this order and Executive Order 2020-69, governing places of public accommodation. Tee times must be scheduled and payments must be made, online or by phone. Tee times must be spaced to avoid multiple foursomes from clustering or gathering at any stage of the course, and players must remain six feet from one another at all times.
Workers at golf courses who perform work that is traditionally and primarily performed outdoors, including groundskeepers and workers who prepare and provide golf carts and other equipment for safe and sanitary use, are permitted for in-person work as needed. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed, and food and beverage may be sold for takeout.
Nothing in the order prohibits a golf course from arranging for an accommodation for a golfer with a disability who requires one under state or federal law; confirmation of and arrangements for any such necessary accommodation must be carried out with the course in advance, online or by phone. Under the order, all work must be carried out remotely to the greatest extent possible, and any in-person work that is permitted must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures and heightened social-distancing rules required under section 11(i).
Golf and Executive Order 2020-77
Golf is currently included in a group of outdoor businesses that are allowed to operate while following safety precautions outlined in section 11 (a-i) of Executive Order 2020-77. Facilities that choose to open must create a preparedness plan and response plan along with operational procedures to protect their employees and customers. The elimination of gatherings, steps to encourage proper social distancing, and sanitization of equipment, facilities, and touch points should also be outlined in the procedures.
National resources have been created to help golf facilities develop their individual plans and procedures. Back2Golf was recently released by the national allied associations that make up WE ARE GOLF, and NGCOA also offers guidelines in their NGCOA Park and Play Program. Both programs align with OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
Although these documents were developed with a broad national focus, they offer additional guidance that may help with planning by individual facilities. Each state is approaching re-opening differently, and the guidelines in these programs are meant to provide suggestion on how to operate under executive orders that are currently in place. The Michigan Golf Alliance encourages facilities to seek their own legal advice on their preparedness plan and the implications of executive orders.
Back2Golf has created downloadable posters for display at facilities:
- Click here to download 8.5 x 11 horizontal posters.
- Click here to download 8.5 x 11 vertical posters.
- Click here to download 8.5 x 14 horizontal posters.
- Click here to download 8.5 x 14 vertical posters.
Suggestions for commonly asked questions from golf facilities
Golf carts-what is allowed?
The most recent FAQ specifically approves work by employees who prepare and provide golf carts. Phase 1 in Back2Golf recommends single rider carts, two riders if from the same household, and two riders if a plexiglass shield or plastic clear barrier cart dividers are in place and each rider wears a face covering while in the cart. The driver must remain the driver, and the passenger remains the passenger.
This recommendation was approved by Dr. Brad Conner, Cornell University and New York City Site Director for the GeoSentinal Infectious Disease Network for the CDC.
Can practice ranges open?
The MGA understands that practice ranges are allowed to be operated by staff working primarily outdoors as long as the golf facility preparedness plan ensures proper social distancing, restricts gatherings, and implements proper safety and sanitization procedures for range balls, buckets, payment touch points, etc.
Can golf facilities sell alcohol to golfers for consumption on the golf course?
Food and beverage services excluding alcohol may be provided to golfers for takeout or consumption on the course. Please visit this link to a Q&A posted on the Liquor Control Commission website. The Michigan Golf Alliance continues to provide feedback on this this impacts the golf industry specifically.
Can golf shops open for retail sales?
Golf shops may provide curbside pickup for retail following social distancing procedures in EO 2020-77.