NCGA Tournament Golf Procedures During COVID-19 Pandemic

The following policies will be in effect for all NCGA events and are subject to change based on current county and state guidelines. Realizing each golf course has different capabilities of service, NCGA staff will work with the golf courses to create safe playing opportunities for participants. Players or spectators failing to adhere to the following policies will be removed from the event and asked to leave the premises.

Specific policies for various NCGA programming are available here and for each event with the Player Information:

Junior Tour of Northern California | Team Match | Weekend Net Tour/Senior Series | Legacy WGANC | Legacy PWGA

 

In addition to the following protocols that will be enforced by the NCGA, we ask that you use the following precautions:

  • If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home. (Any player with noticeable symptoms will be asked to go home).
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, lips and eyes.
  • Wash your hands frequently. If you are unable to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
  • Please familiarize yourself with and follow the best practices published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and California state and county ordinances.

 

General Sanitation Guidelines for Participation in NCGA Events

  • Absolutely no gathering or loitering at any location on the property before or after a round.
  • Players are to maintain at least a six-foot distance minimum from other people (except for household members) while on property whenever possible.
  • Mask/facial coverings must be worn when six-foot minimum distance cannot be met, when indoors (if available) or otherwise in accordance with government ordinance.
  • There will not be an awards ceremony. Players are required to leave as soon as possible after completing their round. See specific event Player Information for tie-breaking procedures.
  • Staff or volunteers will not be allowed on site with symptoms or fever.

 

Caddies

  • Caddies are not permitted until further notice.

 

Spectators

  • When permitted, spectators must maintain at least six-foot distance minimum from people while on property. See individual event Player Information for additional guidelines.
  • We request players to limit spectators to one person, preferably a household member, whenever possible. Spectators are expected to maintain a reasonable distance from players during the round as they are not caddies.

 

Groupings

  • No shotgun starts.
  • Use a minimum of 10-minute intervals. 
  • Groups are required to stay away from the starting area until the previous groups have cleared the tee.

 

Practice/Warm-Up (When available)

Availability of practice facilities, including driving range and putting green, will be subject to individual facility/county policies and may not be available. Specific information regarding availability will be listed in the event Player Information.

  • When available, practice range set up for safe distancing and request players arrive no earlier than 20 minutes prior to starting time and limit range time to 10 minutes to allow others the opportunity. Any stretching or other warm-up activities should be done beforehand at their car.
  • When available, the practice putting green is only available to players 10 minutes prior to their starting time. No holes will be available.

 

Starter Interaction and Material Distribution

  • No starter box materials will be available (tees, ball-marking pens, etc.). 
  • Pace of Play / Hard Card and Hole Locations / Notice to Players and Scorecard will be provided online with the Player Information.
  • Scorecards will not be distributed. See below for specific scoring procedures.
  • Hand sanitizer will be made available at the starter table.
  • Only a clock will be at the Starter Table displaying the Official Time.
  • Starter directions given while spread 6 feet apart.

 

Carts

Cart sanitation policies are subject to county ordinance and will be maintained by host facilities. Other cart policies may vary based on county ordinance and cart availability. See event Player Information for specific cart policies.

  • When permitted, carts are limited to single-riders (in some events exceptions may be made for household members).
  • Unless otherwise determined by the facility, groups will be limited to two carts per group.
  • Tournament fields may be reduced from their original size.

 

Scorecard and Scoring Procedures

NCGA Championships will utilize mobile scoring and electronic scoring procedures.

  • In order to mobile score, players must download the GolfGenius or USGA TM app.
  • The group’s GGID – which is the group specific code to enter mobile scores – will be made available in multiple places:
    • Texted to players in advance
    • Available with the Starter
    • On the scorecard that will be available online prior to the round
  • At least one player in each group must enter scores using mobile scoring
  • At the end of the round, all players in the group must confirm the hole-by-hole scores posted online are accurate using the Leaderboard link either in the app or linked from the Player Information.
  • The scorecard is treated as officially returned and certified one hour after the final group has entered the 18th hole scores.
  • Any issues with scoring must be communicated with staff via text, email or phone prior to that deadline and will be confirmed with other members in the group.
  • Training Video for Using GolfGenius/USGA TM Mobile Scoring
  • Specific scoring procedures may vary slightly, please see specific event Player Information for details.
  • All ties will be determined by the USGA recommended method of matching scorecards, unless otherwise stated.

If online scoring is not an option:

  • Players would verbally give hole-by-hole scores to the scoring official at the completion of the round at an outdoor scoring area from a safe distance and verbally certify scores.

 

Flagstick and Hole

  • The following Code of Conduct provision is in effect for NCGA events:
    • The flagstick must not be removed or deliberately touched by hand during the round, including with a gloved hand or a towel wrapped around the flagstick. Any player who deliberately ignores this code of conduct policy will be considered guilty of Serious Misconduct (see Rule 1.2b), the penalty for which is disqualification.
  • Working in concert with each individual facility, a device will be used to ensure players can retrieve the ball from the hole without touching the flagstick or hole. This may include:
    • A foam insert allowing the ball to fall only part way into the hole,
    • A hole with the liner turned upside down so the ball can fall only part way into the hole; or
    • An approved flagstick attachment that allows a player to lift the ball from the hole with their club.
  • When a device that does not allow the ball to fall fully into the hole is used, the device is treated as being attached to the flagstick and thus is part of the flagstick. Per Rule 13.2c and the Definition of Holed, if any part of the ball is below the surface of the putting green and is leaning/resting on that device the ball is treated as holed. A ball that hits the device and does not come to rest with any part of the ball within the hole is not holed.

 

Bunker Rakes

  • Bunker Rakes will be removed from the course. Players are encouraged to smooth the surface of the bunker with their foot or club before exiting the bunker. 
  • The condition and specific policies regarding bunker maintenance at a facility will be reviewed by staff. If conditions allow for maintained bunkers to be available to all players (such as by consistent marshal raking or sanitized rakes for individual players), the ball will be played as it lies.
  • When it is not possible to provide consistent conditions to all players, the staff-in-charge will implement the following Local Rule:
    • Preferred Lies in Bunker: When a player’s ball lies in a bunker, the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:
      • Reference Point: Spot of the original ball
      • Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: One club-length from the reference point, but with these limits:
      • Limits on Location of Relief Area:
        • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
        • Must be in the same bunker.
    • In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rule 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.

 

Food and Beverage

NCGA staff will work with facilities to ensure as much food and beverage is available in accordance with county ordinance and facility capabilities.

  • When available, food will be issued in accordance with county guidelines which includes consideration for touch points and social distancing guidelines. 
  • In some cases, food and beverage options may be eliminated and players should be prepared to bring their own snacks and water.
  • Specific availability of food and beverage amenities will be detailed in the event Player Information.

 

When Drinking Water is Provided for Players 

Some events have traditionally provided water for players or events may be held in climates where we must supplement what is available at a facility. In those cases we have developed the following procedure to safely provide water to players. At all events, players are expected to be prepared with their own water bottles as county ordinances may prevent clubs from providing coolers throughout the course.

  • Cooler is opened only by the designated starter. Starter directly places one to three water bottles per player on table (spaced) with a gloved hand for each player to retrieve at the start of the round.