Golf guidance for Phase II was published this afternoon by the Executive Office of Commerce as part of Reopening R.I. Specific golf information is located under the Phase II outdoor recreational business tab. Specific golf information is located on the top of page four as this document is confusing to follow. Links for each aspect of our industry are located throughout this document as the golf industry has fallen into many different business categories.
This adds unnecessary confusion to an already frustrating process. Navigating multiple regulatory frameworks for operations (golf/recreation, restaurant, retail, gym, pool, beach, park, etc.) is not what we were looking for but will have to live with it until we push for change.
The RIGA and Government Strategies will be following up with the Executive Office of Commerce tomorrow to note the confusion and conflicting protocols that overlap. We hope to gain additional clarifications and relief for you all soon. This process has been very frustrating as our Phase II plan did include two-person golf carts but was declined by the Executive Office of Commerce that now oversees outdoor recreational businesses. It is the intention of the RIGA and Government Strategies to make every effort to have the golf cart restrictions eased before the start of phase III. We have requested a meeting with the Director of Commerce by the end of the week.
A clarification for Out-of-State residents coming to R.I. to golf. The Governor's Executive Order was modified to note that unless traveling internationally or from a domestic place under a stay-at-home order, you can now do business in Rhode Island. This does allow Out-of-State residents to play golf as long as they don’t fall into the categories described above.
Golf specific changes for Phase II include:
- Groups of up to 15 persons may congregate together on property
- Putting and chipping areas must follow the 15-person social gathering rule
- Driving ranges/practice areas must space players six feet apart: all balls, baskets, and all other commonly-touched items must be cleaned and sanitized between uses
- Tee times are now at the discretion of each club, provided sufficient spacing between groups
- Caddies and forecaddies are permitted with social distancing, face coverings, hand sanitizer and cleaning of equipment
As these changes are frustrating to all of us involved, I hope to have better clarification on the changes and a modification for two-person carts soon.
Sorry for the delay of Phase II information as this was a trying week dealing with a new department.
Rhode Island Golf Association