COVID-19 Guidelines

SGA Event Guidelines for COVID-19: as at March 17 2020


COVID-19 (or the Coronavirus as it is more commonly known) has created global health concerns regarding the disease and its infection rates. Social Golf Australia recommends that advice from the Australian Government’s Department of Health should be monitored closely.

Below is a set of guidelines for Social Golf Australia (SGA) staff and event participants for SGA golf events as a at March 17 2020 as we adjust our event process due to COVID-19. These guidelines are based upon advice from The Australian Government Department of Health, The World Health Organisation and Golf Australia.
 

Golf-Specific COVID-19 Guidelines for Playing in SGA Events

  • No hand contact (handshakes or High-Fives) between golfers
  • Remain six feet (two metres) away from playing partners at all times
  • Leave the pin in on all putts. It is still unclear how long virus will last on inanimate objects, so minimising all golfers contact with the flagstick is a good risk-management practice.
  • Be careful with your social distancing before and after golf with player registration and presentation. Try to maintain six feet (2 metres) of space between yourself and others.
  • Golf Carts – Staying two metres apart is not possible in a cart, so we will give golfers the option to hire a cart for themselves to drive solo if they wish to cart alone. By the same token, pals or couples carpooling and driving to and from the event together who want to share a cart will be permitted to share the costs of hiring a cart together as per our normal cart hire process. Hence, we will offer our players three options for perambulation at SGA events – walking, shared cart or solo cart


General COVID-19 Guidelines for Playing in SGA Events

According to the World Health Organisation, most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

Wash your hands frequently: Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing: Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth: Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene: Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early: If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider: Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell: Even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.

People should NOT attend if:

  • You are in any way unwell
  • In the past two weeks, you have returned from travelling overseas
  • In the past two weeks, you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19


SGA COVID-19 Refund Policy

Although SGA has never cancelled an event, we do acknowledge that at this time golf courses and/or governments may take action or implement laws, requirements, policies and/or guidelines that necessitate the cancellation of an SGA event. In such a case where there is a cancellation that is beyond our control, SGA will refund or credit players in full who have pre-paid for event entry. If our suppliers (golf courses) refuse to refund SGA deposits, we may be compelled to refund or credit 80-90% of players entry fees, however it would be highly unusual not to be able to offer full refunds in the event that SGA is responsible for the cancellation of the event.


Golf Australia Advice

According to Golf Australia, “…the vast majority of golfers can and should continue to visit your clubs and facilities as per normal. However, it is important that our clubs and facilities continue to be aware of government advice on this topic. The virus and potential implications are changing constantly and will be monitored accordingly, and Golf Australia will continue to provide updates to clubs and facilities as regularly as required, or alternatively when additional Federal Government updates are announced.”

Travel advice: If you have recently returned from overseas travel and/or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we recommend you do not visit your golf facility for any reason (including use of the golf course only) until the 14 day period has elapsed.

Health advice: Golf clubs and facilities are heavily trafficked, and there is a chance that during this episode, a member, guest or member of your staff will be exposed to, or test positive to, COVID-19.

It is vitally important that if a member, guest or staff member tests positive to COVID-19, they must inform the club/facility as soon as possible. If this has occurred, anyone testing positive will be contacted by the State/Territory Department of Health in relation to contact tracing. You should then take advice on ongoing facility operations from your State/Territory Department of Health.

If you require additional information or have questions please do not hesitate to contact Golf Australia on (03) 9626 5000 or clubsupport@golf.org.au.
 

Australian Government Dept of Health Advice

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The virus is most likely spread from person-to-person through:

  • Direct close contact with a person while they are infectious or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes, or touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face

For further information from the Federal Government on COVID-19, the Coronavirus Health Information Line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 020 080.