THE easing of some of the restrictions on golf clubs in Phase II of the National Recovery Program was wholeheartedly welcomed and greeted with a sigh of relief.
This new development follows an announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to those who have been fully vaccinated and are in states currently in Phase 2 and above of the National Recovery Plan for the pandemic.
It enabled the game of golf to return on Tuesday, except in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Johor, Malacca and Putrajaya.
Subsequently, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) said its Mandatory Standard Operating Procedures (MSOP) should ensure that all golf clubs follow and strictly enforce guidelines issued by the National Security Council and the Department of Health.
“We have established these mandatory standard operating procedures for golf clubs in the states of the National Recovery Plan Phase 2 to protect the health of golfers, staff and guests,” the MGA said in a statement.
“A golf club’s failure and / or non-compliance with Standard Operating Instructions would result in penalties to law enforcement agencies, including heavy fines or the closure of the golf club, or both.
The revised guidelines include that golf clubs only accept pre-orders and no walk-ins are allowed.
With buggies, the rule applies that only one buggy is valid for one player.
To the extent that family members in the same household share a buggy, the MGA said it was at the discretion of the golf club’s administration.
The shared use of caddies by passengers is also not permitted, so it is a caddy on a buggy.
In addition, caddies are not allowed to drive the buggy or sit next to the golfer.
They must also wear masks and gloves at all times during each round of golf.
The clubs were advised to operate a maximum of 60% of their total flight capacity per session – with two sessions per day (morning / afternoon).
The move to facilitate jumbo flights has also been suspended, as has golf competitions.
Changing rooms must remain closed and driving ranges may not be operated with more than 60% of the total capacity of the bay. People who are not registered to practice / play are not allowed to stay on the driving range.
The MGA highlighted the use of MySejahtera to track entry of golfers and staff into golf clubs and to insist on using online payments or bank transfers for registration purposes.
“Golfers should register 20 minutes before their tee time and the registration staff should be equipped with face masks and gloves.
“Hand sanitizer must be kept ready at all registration counters and disposable pens for golfers.”
The state association demanded the removal of all touchable surfaces, including bunker rakes, water coolers, sandbags and ball washing machines.
The MGA said food and beverage stores, including bars and lounges, are allowed to follow SOPs established by the National Security Council and Department of Health and only have dinner for “fully vaccinated” people.