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Golfing in the time of COVID-19 – why not?

The golfer with the protective mask waits for his turn to make his best shot - COVID-19

An article on health and wellness in the University of Georgia website emphasizes the importance of outdoor exercise during COVID-19 because it boosts the immune system and reduces stress levels.

If you’re up for the challenge of getting your regular dose of outdoor activity, why not consider golf? Note that even when states were still at Phase 1 of their respective reopening schedules, most golf courses were already opened.

What makes this sport so special compared to other outdoor activities?

On a scale of 1 to risky

Golf is considered a low-risk recreational activity since it’s an outdoor non-contact sport that involves small groups. Public health experts give it a risk level of 3 among 36 activities that can spread coronavirus. According to online science magazine Nautilus, the only activities seen as riskier than golfing are walking outside, heading out for gas or takeout, and tennis.

The risk increases when players start mingling or sharing golf carts. So, just wave at your fellow golfers and be on your way.

Is golf allowed in Florida?

When Florida moved to Phase 1 of its reopening schedule in May, a good number of establishments were allowed to resume business – golf courses included. Among these establishments was upscale West Palm Beach golf club, The Club at Ibis, which resumed operations the following month. But even with the easing of restrictions, precautionary measures remain in place like wearing facial coverings and observing social distancing.

Safety in the fairways

No other golf course can compare to those in The Club at Ibis in terms of breathtaking beauty and, of course, safety in this time of COVID. It has three sprawling Nicklaus family-designed championship courses, plus a 20-acre practice facility. Social distancing certainly won’t be a problem here.

This country club also abides by the Palm Beach County Golf Association (PBCGA) COVID-19 policies and procedures. These new policies are the benchmark of safety in the fairways while this global health threat continues. Here are some of them:

  • Bring your PPE. Golfers are requested to bring their masks and sanitizers. While personal protective equipment (PPE) is not a requirement, they must have it on hand when social distancing is impossible.

  • Bring your own bottle of water. Best to have your own bottle of water than to use those provided near water stations. That way, you can hydrate safely.

  • Social distancing. There must be a six-foot distance between players and spectators at all times during an event. No physical contact is allowed before, during, and after tournaments. Also, all players must wear a face mask.

  • Bring extra tees and balls. Don’t touch tees other than your own. Refrain from borrowing said items from your playing partner, too. Pack an extra handful before going to the golf course. Don’t forget to also bring an extra sleeve of golf balls.

  • Get your own personal pushcart or carry bag. Golf courses across the country are now limiting cart capacity to only one player. As a result, golf courses are seeing a shortage of available carts. However, this won’t be a problem if you’re used to walking. To make your golf course stroll even easier, you can purchase a collapsible pushcart and/or a lightweight carry bag.

  • Pack your snacks. While golf courses are still offering refreshments, the menus are limited and for takeout only. Many golf courses have also removed beverage carts that used to make their rounds on the grounds. So, to be ready when the hunger pangs strike, bring along your own packed snacks.

  • Stay at home if you feel ill. Whether you’re manifesting signs of the dreaded coronavirus or running a fever due to some other infection, don’t force yourself to go out and play. Even if you do, your temperature will be taken before entering the golf course as part of the new standard procedure. If your temperature’s shot, you will still be advised to go home as you run the risk of exposing other players to the pathogen that’s affecting you.

  • Condition yourself to the new normal. Some golf courses you used to frequent before the state lockdowns may not be as well-manicured now, especially with budget cuts affecting staffing and maintenance costs.

    The good news is that The Club and all its amenities have remained impeccable and of the highest quality despite the effects of the pandemic on most industries. Probably the biggest changes here are the heightened sanitation requirements for members and the staff wearing face masks. This will be the new normal as life goes on in this splendid slice of golfing heaven in West Palm Beach.

Do you want to experience living in Ibis Country Club and enjoying its world-class amenities? Eric Telchin and The Telchin Group can answer your questions on anything related to the Ibis Golf and Country Club lifestyle from HOA fees to membership requirements and much, much more! Call the team at 561.301.0249 or send an email to Eric(at)TheTelchinGroup(dotted)com.

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