Industry News

Golf industry collaborates further on ‘Back2Golf’ initiative – providing guidance for amateur competitions and junior programming

Addendum provides supplement to guidelines and Operational Playbook released in early May

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.) – The golf industry continues its collaboration to lead the responsible return of golf, announcing an update and addendums to the Back2Golf Operations Playbook (version 3.0). The updated playbook and addendums provide recommendations that guide the industry as it reestablishes amateur competitive events and junior programming, which are part of Back2Golf’s Phase II.

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With input from leading industry organizations including USGA, PGA of America, American Junior Golf Association and First Tee, the addendum provides guidelines for Phase II, which include limiting gatherings to no more than 50 people, prohibiting physical contact of any kind, requirements of cloth facial coverings and other protocols related to registration areas, practice areas, food and beverage operations, equipment, restrooms, on-course play and departures.

“Golf is more than a game - it is a community, and this effort is one of the most recent examples of how we can all work together and provide the best support to our industry,” says Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Back2Golf has helped our Allied Golf Associations and member facilities get back to work, provide continuity from state to state, and ultimately welcome back golfers to the course in a way that provides connection and great care for all.”

“As different regions of the country re-engage at separate paces, our goal is to ensure we are equipped with the appropriate tactics to responsibly operate amateur competitions and junior programs,” says Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation and First Tee. “Our focus is on the well-being of all involved – whether you’re working at a course, playing in competition or signing your child up for programs, we want to ensure the industry has collaborative, responsible guidance.”

Back2Golf Operations Playbook v3.0 was designed by the industry’s leading organizations as a general operational framework, while course owners, administrators, program and event providers and golfers are encouraged to observe state, county and local government health protocols first and foremost. All organizations, facilities and staff should continue to follow sanitization and social distancing guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Announced in early May, Back2Golf is driven by key stakeholders of WE ARE GOLF, a division of the World Golf Foundation created in 2010 to spearhead initiatives on behalf of the game. Supporting organizations include PGA of America, USGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), and Club Management Association of America (CMAA), among others.

The industry-wide Back2Golf initiative has been primarily focused on ensuring golf courses that have remained operational or recently reopened, do so responsibly to protect golfers, employees and all members of the community. Each organization has distributed “Back2Golf Guidelines” and the corresponding “Operations Playbook” to its respective audiences to implement and administer.

Back2Golf is a living, breathing initiative and interim guidance from CDC and/or feedback from the golf community will result in additional modifications to the Operations Playbook. Changes will be communicated through the various industry organizations via their websites and outreach to members.

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Administered by the World Golf Foundation as a coalition of golf’s leading organizations, WE ARE GOLF was established to unite the industry and advocate in the game’s best interests. Through this platform, WE ARE GOLF promotes engagement and inclusivity among the sport’s participants, while ensuring the health and prosperity of the $84 billion golf industry and the more than two million jobs are protected. Participating partners include PGA of America, USGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, GCSAA, NGCOA and CMAA.

PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, with 29,000 professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.

Founded in 1894, the USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf, while conducting many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.

The PGA TOUR, headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR Series-China.

The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 Members representing more than 30 countries.

Founded in 1926, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide.

The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management.

Founded in 1927, the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) is the largest professional association for managers of membership clubs with 6,800 members throughout the US and internationally.

Ryan Parsons
Buffalo Agency