(Updated July 8, 2020) - The guidelines outlined below are in effect for all 2020 NJSGA events. The following is subject to change, without notice. Players should familiarize themselves and follow best practices as published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the New Jersey State Department of Health.

Failure to comply with points listed herein, or breach of a local rule, may result in the withdrawal of a player's entry, disqualification, or penalty under the Terms of the the Competition, the Rules of Golf, or the NJSGA's Code of Conduct.

Standard Player Health:

  • If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home. Any player displaying symptoms will be required to go home.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Do not touch any equipment that is not yours.
  • Wash your hands frequently. If you are unable to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.

Self-screening:

Players are expected to comply with the NJSGA’s COVID-19 policies. In addition, players are expected to self-screen prior to attending a NJSGA event. Players are expected to ask themselves the following questions, and withdraw if the answer to any of these is “yes”.

Within the last fourteen (14) days, have you:

  • Traveled to one of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Utah, or traveled outside the United States?
  • Been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Been in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Been advised to quarantine by a doctor or other medical authority?
  • Experienced symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as:
    • Fever over 100.4° Fahrenheit?
    • Experienced shortness of breath?
    • Experienced abnormal coughing symptoms?
    • Experienced loss of taste or smell, chills, shaking, sore throat or muscle aches?
    • Experienced any other unusual flu-like symptoms?

If you answered yes to any of the above, the NJSGA expects you to withdraw from the competition. In order to withdraw, please email bradb@njsga.org or call the NJSGA at 908-241-GOLF.

If a player fails to comply, the NJSGA reserves the right to disqualify a player or withdraw the entry of a player under the NJSGA’s Code of Conduct (available here).

Communication with Players, Volunteers and Club Officials

In the event the NJSGA learns that any person in attendance at an NJSGA event is infected, being tested for, or shows verified symptoms of COVID-19, the NJSGA will notify all players, officials, and the club representatives of the facts as known to the NJSGA. Individual identification of the person potentially infected or exposed will not be divulged except when absolutely necessary. If a player in a competition is the person potentially infected or exposed, then the players who played with that person will also be individually notified. Further, the NJSGA will provide updates to all persons originally notified as to the outcome of any testing or other related information.

Face Coverings

In accordance with the New Jersey Executive Order issued on July 8, the New Jersey State Golf Association now requires the wearing of face coverings in various locations and situations at its events. The policy is below, which will be enforced under the NJSGA’s Code of Conduct, is in effect at all NJSGA events:

  • Players and caddies must carry a face covering at all times.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering at all times when indoors.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering any time that maintaining a 6’ distance from another person is not practicable.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering when interacting with a NJSGA official or staff member.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering when asked to do so by a NJSGA official or staff member, or by a representative of a host facility.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering when approaching the NJSGA registration area.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering when approaching their starting tee, and players MUST keep the covering on until they are verbally instructed by the starter that they may remove the face covering.
  • Players and caddies MUST wear a face covering when approaching the NJSGA scoring area, and players and caddies MUST keep the face covering on until they have left the scoring area.
  • While there is no requirement for a player or caddie to wear a face covering when using the practice facilities or during their round, players and caddies are required to put on a face covering if social distancing cannot be maintained in either area.

The NJSGA expects and appreciates the cooperation of all players and caddies in maintaining a safe, healthy, and enjoyable environment.

Additional Requirements:

  • 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 while on property whenever possible.
  • Players will be expected to supply their own masks and expected to wear them when six-foot minimum distance cannot be met, when indoors or otherwise in accordance with state guidelines.
  • Players must not remove flagsticks (see COVID-19 Local Rules for details) until further notice.
  • Players must provide their own pencils/tees.
  • If any player is concerned that another player is not complying with CDC standards, or feels the player is ill, he/she should bring it to the attention of the NJSGA.

General Player Information:

  • Arrival – The NJSGA will still have a designated registration area where players must “check-in” to confirm starting times. Players must keep six feet from all people while in the registration area and wear a mask if this distance cannot be maintained. Players MUST NOT arrive more than 30 minutes before their starting time and will not be permitted to use the practice facilities prior to that time.
  • Paperwork – All event related paperwork, including hole locations and Local Rules, will be sent to players electronically prior to the event and posted on NJSGA.org with event pairings. Players are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these documents and (if desired) print copies for their use. The starter will review important Local Rules with players but will not have copies for distribution.
  • Scorecards – All scoring will be done electronically; players are strongly encouraged to download the USGA Tournament Management app to score for their group. The starter will give each group their GGID to allow them to enter hole-by-hole scores and check the leaderboard.
    • If a player wants to track their own scores by hand, they will be provided a scorecard on the first tee. Players must bring their own writing implement.
    • Upon completion of the round, ONE group at a time will be allowed to enter the “scoring area”. Players must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and the scoring official, and verbally agree to their hole-by-hole scores.
    • After verbally verifying scores and leaving the scoring area, a player’s scorecard is deemed returned.
    • There will be no public leaderboards until further notice. Leaderboards can be found on NJSGA.org or the USGA Tournament Management app.
  • Playoffs – Players that may be involved in a playoff must wait in their vehicle until the last group is finished.
  • Carts – In events where carts are permitted and until further notice, golfers may ride together or, if specifically requested, as a single rider.
    • See specific event info for Pull Cart details.
    • If a championship (or qualifier) is traditionally a walking event, and carts are not permitted due to weather, the event will continue as walking only.
  • Weather Suspension – If play is suspended for a dangerous situation, players are required to evacuate the course immediately and wait in their vehicles. Players who have elected not to use a cart must immediately begin walking to their vehicles (or the nearest designated shelter). However, if an official in the area can shuttle a player in, that player is required to wear a face mask for the duration of the trip to the clubhouse or parking lot.
    • Updates regarding resumption will be sent to players via text message.
    • Practice facilities will not reopen for “warm-up” following suspensions.

Caddies:

  • Caddies are permitted. Where a caddie is used, the caddie MUST carry the player's bag. Caddies and players must follow social distancing guidelines at all times.

Spectators:

  • Spectators are prohibited until further notice.
  • One (1) spectator per junior golfer is permitted for players that cannot drive themselves to an event. This person must remain away from participants at all times. In this case, the spectator is required to check in with the NJSGA at registration PRIOR to going on the golf course.

Practice Rounds:

  • Until further notice, there will be no practice rounds available for any qualifying rounds or any championships except for the Open, Amateur, and Women's Amateur/Mid-Amateur Championships. In these cases, availability and details will be decided by the host club.

Practice facilities:

  • Players must not arrive more than 30 minutes before their starting time, and will not be permitted to use the practice facilities prior to that time.
  • Practice areas are not available after a player has completed their round.
  • The practice facilities will be closed during a suspension, and will not reopen for “warm up” regardless of how long play is suspended.

Bunkers:

  • Bunker rakes may not be available at certain clubs. It is at the discretion of the host club whether they are provided. If they are not, or players do not feel comfortable using them, a player is asked to smooth the surface of bunkers with their foot, hand, or club after playing a stroke from within the bunker. A ball in a bunker should be played as it lies whenever possible, except as outlined below:
    • “Disturbed Areas” in the bunkers will be treated as GROUND UNDER REPAIR. See Local Rule sheet for full details.
    • Players are asked to smooth the surface with their foot or hand after playing a shot from the bunker.
    • Rakes may be provided on golf carts for the exclusive use of the player operating the cart (in events where carts are permitted).

Holing Out / Flagstick

  • Until further notice, flagsticks must remain in the hole. Rule 13.2 is modified in this way: A player is prohibited from making a stroke with the flagstick removed from the hole. Note: Touching the flagstick, the inadvertent removal and the subsequent replacement of the flagstick is not of itself a penalty.
    • Penalty for breach of this Local Rule:
      • First Breach – One Penalty Stroke
      • Second Breach – General Penalty
      • Third Breach – Disqualification
  • To allow players to remove the ball without touching the hole, a hole insert will be used (PVC). A ball is treated as “holed” when the ball is at rest in the hole after a stroke and is below the surface of the putting green.
    • If a ball in motion bounces off the hole insert or flagstick and does not come to rest in the hole as described above, the ball is not considered to be holed and must be played as it lies.
    • A ball imbedded in the lip of the hole is not considered “holed”.
    • This procedure does not override Rule 13.2c in the case of a ball resting against the flagstick in the hole.

Locker room / Clubhouse Access:

  • The host club will set restrictions on locker room and clubhouse facilities. Please see event specific player information sheet.
  • The NJSGA will ensure restroom facilities are available.

Food & Beverage / Awards Ceremony:

  • There will be no organized food service gatherings.
  • Some clubs may be able to offer “to-go” food options, and players will be on their own to purchase these items.
  • Drinking water will not be located on the golf course. Players should be prepared by bringing their own water.
  • Awards ceremonies discontinued until further notice. Glassware will be shipped to winners and golf shop certificates will be left with the Professional staff for players to redeem at their convenience.

Withdrawals:

  • The NJSGA will offer a refund for anyone who WDs if they are sick or uncomfortable participating for safety/health reasons.
  • The NJSGA asks players to WD with as much advance notice as possible to allow us to fill the vacated spot from our waiting list. If at all possible, please do not wait until the day of the event to WD.
  • The following refund deadlines will be enforced:
    • For Monday events – 12:00 noon the previous Friday.
    • For Tuesday events – 12:00 noon the previous Friday.
    • For Wednesday events – 12:00 noon the previous Monday.
    • For Thursday events – 12:00 noon the previous Tuesday.
    • Refund policies: Before above deadline date - Full refund. After above deadline but before a player’s starting time – refund minus a $50 surcharge ($100 for team events). No-shows (with no notice) receive no refund.
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