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Playing golf safely in the time of COVID-19

Playing Golf Safely During Pandemic

Although many San Francisco golf courses have already reopened since May, the COVID-19 pandemic is still in full swing, and limiting your public activities and movements as much as possible is still recommended. 

While golf is still a safer activity compared to other sports such as basketball or even bowling, it is still important to practice proper sanitation and safety measures while taking the necessary steps to preserve the health of your fellow golfers. 

If you’re planning to hit the links soon, you probably have a few questions on your mind. You might be wondering how you can protect yourself from the virus while you’re golfing, or curious about what safety protocols golf courses have in place. 

In this page, we give you several helpful tips on how you can stay safe on the course and shed some light on what some golf courses are doing in order to minimize the risk of exposure from the virus. 

Avoid playing if you feel sick

This is obvious, but in case you’re feeling even just a little under the weather or not 100%, it’s best for you to simply stay at home. While it’s true that it doesn’t necessarily mean you have the coronavirus, out of respect for everyone, postponing your trip is the right thing to do. Besides, being out on a golf course when you’re not feeling well is never a good idea.

Practice social distancing

As with any other public setting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from each other.

Although golf courses are vast, open-air venues, practicing social distancing is still proven to slow the spread of the virus, and is an ideal way to minimize the risk of infection. It is best to play golf only with people who take the pandemic seriously and know how to respect and follow social distancing guidelines.

Remember to bring your own water

Many golf courses have eliminated their drinking stations in order to reduce contact points that could potentially transmit the virus. So remember to fill up a bottle at home and bring it along with you before you head off to the course.

This is something you should be doing all along, even if you’re not playing golf. Nowadays, it makes more sense to bring a water bottle every time you go somewhere.

Avoid shaking hands with fellow golfers

Although this falls under practicing proper social distancing, it still needs to be stated. The gentleman’s sport is a pastime that’s rich in traditions, such as the customary handshake at the end of a round.

Shaking hands with other people who do not belong in the same household as you however, is not really a good idea nowadays. Thankfully, there are other ways to display sportsmanship and appreciation, such as applauding, communicating verbally, or touching clubs. 

Follow the rules of the course

Different golf courses have their own set of rules and guidelines in place to ensure the health and safety of golfers. Make sure you’re familiar with all of them, and ask any questions you may have at the lounge or concierge before you hit the tees. 

In the Presidio Golf Course for example, they only allow one person per golf cart at all times. They also require players to prepay for equipment they need such as golf balls and tees, and provide these at check-in.

For a seamless golfing experience, call the course ahead of time or visit their website to get information on the guidelines and protocols they currently have in place. 

Consider getting a carry bag or push cart

Since some courses only allow one player per golf cart, the number of carts available are often depleted quickly. That said, you need to consider the possibility of not having an available buggy or trolley next time you play.

Of course, it’s not a big deal if you’re used to walking and carrying. But in case it’s an issue, investing in a lightweight carry bag or portable push cart might be a good move.  

Just have fun!

Golf is an excellent source of exercise that can help you relax. Just enjoy the time you spend out on the course, while making sure to be mindful about taking the necessary steps that can protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.  

If you’re looking for a list of San Francisco golf courses, check out this handy guide from Golf Advisor

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