The PBCGA will use a proactive approach to managing social distancing at all tournaments to directly address concerns for safety. These plans were developed by using recommendations from global health partners and working in conjunction with the Back2Golf plan, an industry-wide collaboration of the PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, LPGA, IAGA and allied golf associations. In addition, the PBCGA is working with local government officials to ensure community guidelines are met. In all discussions, three guiding principles were paramount to bringing competition back without interruption: limiting the overall number of people at an event, eliminating all possible touch points, and maximizing the game’s natural physical distance.
The following document contains procedures for PBCGA competitions effective March 1, 2021. The document will be updated as new information is released by governing bodies and we continue to move towards a full reopening and return to Golf. Additional measures may be implemented by host clubs or local governments.
Last updated: March 1, 2021
REOPENING & RETURN TO GOLF
Florida entered Phase Three and the PBCGA continues to adapt and adjust operations and protocols around competition. The following procedures will gradually return to normal as time and social norms allow.
Safety & Authority: PBCGA will conduct competitions following guidance consistent with Federal, State & County laws and guidelines by the Governor’s Office, CDC, PGA & Back2Golf.
Host Facility Dependent: Competitions may have differing procedures in place at different facilities.
Limited Fields: Fields may be limited due to the availability of golf carts.
Shotgun Starts: Shotguns are allowed with social distancing notifications.
Refunds: Refunds will be provided to players who withdraw in advance due to COVID19 concerns or changes in their health. To receive a refund the player must contact the PBCGA via email or phone prior to the posting of event pairings. To withdraw from an event after pairings have been posted the request for refund due to COVID19 concerns or changes in their health must be accompanied with a doctor note.
Communication: PBCGA will communicate with the host clubs regularly regarding their facility and the PBCGA procedures.
Player Communications: Players will be notified via email of the procedures and their responsibilities within the week of each competition. Players that do not accept the procedures in place, will need to contact PBCGA via email or phone to being the withdrawal process.
Masks: Players are NOT required to wear masks unless the host club requires them in certain areas.
PPE & Other: Players are requested to bring their own sanitizers and masks. PPE will NOT be a requirement for players, however it is STRONGLY encouraged that players have PPE on-hand during times when social distancing is not possible (i.e. weather delays/evacuation)
Arrival to the Course: Players are encouraged to be mindful of their arrival time and pre-round routine. It is requested that players arrive no more than one (1) hour before their official starting time. Please note that concessions will not be made for a player who is late to the tee.
Registration: When performed onsite, an Official will check in players on the starting tee (tee time format) unless notified (prior to event) of an alternate designated location onsite prior to event (shotgun format).
Online Player Check-in: Players are strongly encouraged to “Check-in” each round via the PBCGA Mobile App. Once players complete the online check-in process the PBCGA Mobile App will unlock access to the following electronic services: scorecard, hole locations, local rules, leaderboards and instant message access to officials.
Water & Snacks: Normally not provided by the PBCGA. Players are responsible for bringing their own or purchasing from the club if available.
Skins Games: Will be conducted at certain events and is optional to the players. Cashless entries are strongly encouraged to be completed via Venmo (@palmbeach-countygolf). All payouts will be distributed via Venmo, therefore all participants are required to submit entries prior to the start of their opening round. For assistance text “Venmo” to (561) 625-0400 to receive a direct link to start the entry process.
Carts: The use of shared carts is dependent on the host club and size of the field. The use of individual carts or sharing carts with a divider is preferred; however, shared carts will be used at select competitions to facilitate larger sized fields. Partners will share carts in four-ball and two-person team competitions.
STARTING & SCORING AREAS
Starter Boxes: Generally not used. Players must provide their own tees and ball markers.
Starting Area: A tent and table with a cover may still be set up in the Starting Area. The Starter will issue a player’s scorecard directly to the marker. Player’s WILL NOT exchange their scorecards, or any other physical documents given to them. We strongly encourage players to adequately prepare for tournaments and supply themselves with items as needed, knowing they may not be available at the tournament site.
Tournament Documents (Hole Locations, Local Rules & Hard Cards): Physical paperwork will be limited, and players will be granted digital access to tournament documents (PBCGA Mobile App / PBCGA.org) in advance of the event.
Scorecards: Players will not exchange scorecards before or after the round. Entering scores into PBCGA Mobile App (Electronic Scoring) on the course is allowed and strongly encouraged.
Scoring Area: After the round, players will enter the designated scoring area. Players will then verbally go over their hole-by-hole scores until there is agreement on each score. Finally, each player will verbally sign off on (attest) their official score. The scorecards will never be exchanged prior to exiting the scoring area, the scorecards will be dropped in a box which will only be accessed by a Committee member if necessary. The following Modified Rule is in effect until further notice:
WHEN THE SCORECARD IS RETURNED: A player’s scorecard is deemed returned (no changes allowed to scorecard) once the player verbally acknowledges the scores posted to the PBCGA electronic scoring system and leaves the clubhouse or parking lot.
Scoreboards: Used at limited events. E-scoring, the PBCGA Mobile App and PBCGA.org to scores on the PBCGA website will be emailed to all players.
Electronic Scoring: E-scoring using the PBCGA Mobile App (downloaded on smart phones) is encouraged. Verbal confirmation (signing) of the scorecard is required after the round.
RULES OF GOLF MODIFICATION & COMPETITION SETUP
Bunker Rakes: Dependent on the host club. Rakes are allowed to be on the course. When rakes have not been replaced on the course the following Modified Rule is in effect:
BUNKERS: Bunker rakes have been removed from the course in effort to limit physical touch points. If a ball comes to rest in a bunker, the player may lift the ball, and place the ball in that area. This area must be in the bunker and within one club-length of the original lie of the ball, but not nearer the hole than that spot. The ball may be cleaned when lifted.
Holes & Holing Out: Dependent on the host club (but not required), a device maybe inserted in the hole to keep the ball from falling to the bottom of the cup. All measures will be taken by setup staff to ensure that whatever object is in the hole will indeed allow the ball to come to rest completely below the surface of the ground. If inserts are applied to holes the following Modified Rule is in effect:
HOLING OUT: A ball is considered ‘holed’ if it is resting on an object in place to prevent the ball from falling to the bottom of the cup even if the ball is not completely resting below the surface of the ground.
Flagsticks: Dependent on the host club (but not required). The flagstick may be touched and removed unless the host club still requires it to not be removed. If flagsticks are required to remain in the hole, the following Modified Rule is in effect:
FLAGSTICK: Under the Rules of Golf, players are permitted to leave the flagstick in the hole while putting. At this time, purposefully touching or removing the flagstick and replacing it before a stroke is deemed a Code of Conduct violation and is subject to penalty.
Practice Areas: Social distancing must be maintained.
Weather Evacuations: Dependent on the host club. Players will be assigned to wait in certain areas during suspensions or seek shelter in their car. Spectators will be asked to evacuate to their cars. Communications on restarting will be sent via text.