Minnesota Golf Association

2021 COVID-19 MGA Tournament Policies and Procedures

Below are the Local Rules and guidelines for MGA events. These guidelines are based on recommendations from the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control, as well as directives from the State of Minnesota government. A player who blatantly disregards these guidelines may be subject to disqualification from the event and removal from the facility. These guidelines are subject to change pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order protocols and/or Minnesota DNR Outdoor Recreational Guidelines. 
  • Do NOT play if you feel sick or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
  • Maintain social distancing by staying at least six (6) feet away from others.
  • Flagsticks – Unless otherwise stated, players MAY elect to remove the flagstick at their own discretion.
  • Bunkers – Unless otherwise stated, rakes will be on the golf course. Use of the rake by the player is not mandatory and at the discretion of the player. Players are encouraged to use their feet to smooth bunkers after making a stroke from one if they choose not to use the rake.  

    The following local rule is in effect.

    Any damaged area in a bunker is deemed Ground Under Repair, and the player may take full relief under GUR procedures (Rule 16.1c) but must stay inside the bunker. NOTE – Rule 16.1c is modified in this way: Interference does not exist if the disturbed area in a bunker only interferes with the player’s stance.

    Damaged areas include (but are not limited to) footprints and other disturbances that may have been caused by players, animals or other sources.
    • In the unlikely event there is nowhere to drop in the bunker without going closer to the hole, the player may drop at the nearest point of relief (without the one club-length) even if that spot is closer to the hole.
    • Reminder – Under Rule 16.1c, the player must drop the ball from knee height and is not permitted to place the ball. The player also has the option to play the ball as it lies.
    • Under a Penalty of One Stroke, the player may elect to drop behind the bunker along the line formed by the flagstick and the spot where the ball is at rest in the bunker, going back on the line as far as the player wishes.
  • Holed – The definition of Holed is modified this way: If any part of the ball is in the hole below the surface of the putting green, the ball is treated as holed even if the entire ball is not below the surface of the putting green.
  • Registration – There will be a registration area at all events for players to check in. This is to ensure players have their GGID for the day and so that they can be made aware of any special instructions for the event.
  • Paperwork – All tournament information, including but not limited to the Hole Location and Local Rules sheets, will be provided electronically prior to the tournament. Players are encouraged to download and read these materials on their own before their round because paper versions of this information will not be provided at the tournament site.
    • NOTE: Links to these materials will be sent to tournament participants and always may be found on the event landing page on the MGA website.
  • Golf Carts – When allowed per the competition, the number of riders per cart will be determined by MGA policy, Minnesota DNR Outdoor Recreational Guidelines in place and host facility supply.
  • Caddies – Players ARE permitted to use caddies.  
  • Practice Facilities – The number of players allowed on the driving range, putting green or short game area may be restricted as needed to allow for social distancing. Flagsticks may be removed from both the putting green and short-game greens.  Every player should have a fair and equitable opportunity to warm up prior to play and should be respectful of other players when preparing to play. Practice at the host facility after a player’s round is complete may be prohibited.
  • Starting Tees – Players should check in at their starting tee immediately after the group in front of them has left the teeing area.
    • Starter’s Boxes – Starting tees WILL have a Starter’s Box containing tees, pencils, local scorecards and hand sanitizer.
  • Scoring – Group online scoring is mandatory through the use of the USGA Tournament Management app. MGA scorecards will not be provided. 
    • Players are expected to download the USGA Tournament Management app. This allows a player to access online scoring and record scores.
    • A player in each group will be asked to maintain a “paper scorecard” as a back-up for the online method. 
    • After completing the round, ONE group at a time will be allowed in the “scoring area.” Players should maintain six (6) feet of distance between them and will verbally agree to their hole-by-hole scores with their group and the scoring official. After verbally verifying one’s scores and leaving the scoring area, a player’s scorecard is deemed returned, and no changes may be made after this time.  
    • The player will receive an email with his or her scorecard as a confirmation.
    The only scoreboards will be through the USGA Tournament Management app, the MGA website and host facility monitors (if available). 
  • Shuttling – Shuttling of players may take place in specific situations, such as when play is suspended by the Committee due to weather.  In addition, shuttles may be provided to groups that start or finish on a hole away from the clubhouse, such as after a match has finished.  Players who take a shuttle will be provided face masks and hand sanitizer and will be expected to use them prior to getting in the cart.  Players not wishing to follow these safety protocols are entitled to walk.  
    • In all cases, communication regarding resumption of play will be sent by text message.
  • Spectators – Spectators are allowed on the golf course, provided they follow appropriate social-distancing guidelines.
  • Awards – Award ceremonies may be conducted inside or outside, depending on the host facility’s space and following social-distancing guidelines. 
  •  Snacks/Water – Snacks and water MAY be provided by the MGA. 

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