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ASSISTANTS EVENT AT 
MARLBOROUGH COUNTRY CLUB
SEPTEMBER 29, 2020
Hosts - Tim Crane and Shaun Allen

This year's event will be different from others because of the pandemic we are all dealing with.

The event is open to all Assistant Superintendents, Equipment Managers, Equipment Mechanics and Equipment Technicians.  Members and non-members are welcome.  We hope you will attend to have some fun, meet others in our industry, share some camaraderie, have some laughs, play golf on a beautiful course and, most importantly, enjoy a day away from your course.

The format will be a 4-person team scramble using 80% of the averaged handicaps of the players.  You do not need to register as a team.  You can register as a single or up to 4 players in your group.  Golf cars are included and will be single rider.

All registration will be online.  No registrations will take place onsite.  Lunch will be a box lunch.  There will be no gathering after the round is completed as there will be no food or beverage service.  When the round is over, and if you would like to find out where your team stands, bring your scorecard to the golf shop where scores will be posted.  Please wear a mask when in the golf shop.  If your team wins a prize it can be chosen from the golf shop merchandise selection.  While waiting for the scores to be ;posted please keep in mind the COVID-19 restrictions - please keep at least 6' away from others and wear a mask if this can't be done.

Play begins with a 10:00 AM Shotgun Start
A box lunch will be provided

Cost
Member Assistant - Complimentary
Non-Member - $65.00
Member Equipment Manager, Mechanic, Technician - Complimentary
Non-Member - $65.00
There will be a complimentary raffle with prizes
distributed at the event

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS NOON,
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

To register please click the link below

Register Now
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2021 "PROVIDENCE SHOW" CHANGES
READ ABOUT THE FORMAT FOR THE NEXT EDITION 
HERE

UPDATED GUIDELINES FOR TOURNAMENTS AND OTHER EVENTS
(SUCH AS
"SHOTGUN STYLE" EVENTS)

(Made Available on Mass.gov on 7/6/20)

WORKPLACE SAFETY and REOPENING STANDARDS FOR BUSINESSES and OTHER ENTITIES PROVIDING YOUTH and ADULT AMATEUR SPORTS ACTIVITIES – Phase III, Step 1 

EEA GUIDANCE

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) will continue to work with the Governor's Administration and communicate with our respective memberships as updates are made available regarding the clarification and/or any relaxing of guidelines.

July 6, 2020


UPDATED GUIDELINES FOR THE GOLF INDUSTRY IN MASSACHUSETTS BEGINNING IN PHASE 3
(Made Available on Mass.gov on 7/3/20)
_____________________________________________________________________

The Phase 3 workplace safety standards for Golf Facilities are posted in advance of the Governor’s initiation of Phase 3 to allow Golf Facilities time to prepare to operate in compliance with these mandatory health and safety standards. Golf Facilities may not expand operations beyond what is currently permitted in Phase 2 until specifically authorized to do so in Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s Workplace Re-Opening Plan.

The Governor will initiate Phase 3 of the Re-Opening Plan, which will commence on July 6, by formal Executive Order following a careful review of public health data.

Updated Guidance for Golf from the Recreation & Outdoor Business's Update on Mass.gov: FULL DETAILS ON UPDATED GOLF GUIDANCE



The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) will continue to work with the Governor's Administration and communicate with our respective memberships as updates are made available regarding the clarification and/or any relaxing of guidelines.

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LAS VEGAS GIS UPDATE

Dear GCSAA Members,

The world is a much different place than when we gathered in Orlando in January for the 2020 Golf Industry Show. It seems much longer ago than just five months. And as many of you have had to adjust or adapt your business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so has GCSAA. Each summer, we begin revving up planning for the next conference and trade show. 2021 is no exception to that, but as we look toward Las Vegas, it is with a much different lens than in other years.

Our usual work of coordinating the gold standard education, networking opportunities and industry innovations you have come to expect continues, but we are also driven by the key question in the face of an uncertain world:

Can we produce a quality experience that meets the safety recommendations for COVID-19?

To help us prepare, we are developing five scenarios and mapping out what every activity would look like in each scenario. The five scenarios are based on potential pandemic threat levels.

Scenario One (low threat): Business as usual.
Scenario Two (minimal threat): Live event in Las Vegas with social distancing and large-gathering restrictions in place.
Scenario Three (moderate threat): Hybrid with a live event in Las Vegas and virtual event options.
Scenario Four (substantial threat): An all virtual event.
Scenario Five (significant threat): Event postponed or cancelled.

We were very fortunate that the 2020 GIS had already taken place before the virus took hold in most of the country. Many similar gatherings were postponed or cancelled this year, and we have been able to watch and learn from others.

Las Vegas
We are equally fortunate that Las Vegas, a city so dependent on tourism, is at the forefront of making sure visitors are safe. The city reopened its casinos on June 4, and the brand-new Las Vegas Convention Center, hotels and all venues are consulting with public health experts to redefine cleaning, safety and sanitation standards. The Global Risk Advisory Council’s STAR is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. The LVCC is one of the first convention centers to pursue this certification and should be accredited by the end of August.

The NFL’s 2021 Pro Bowl recently announced it plans to hold the event in Las Vegas on Jan. 31, and the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest tech industry event in the world, has announced it will go forward with its 2021 convention January 6-9 at the new LVCC. We too are currently moving ahead with hosting our event in Las Vegas.

Timeline
In addition to keeping an eye on the latest data and the status of other events, we also want to know what your level of comfort is in attending a live event. In mid-August, we will be conducting a survey of members to gauge your sentiment on traveling and any other factors that could affect your attendance. In October, we will have a follow up survey in case circumstances have changed. Using this information and guidance from health and venue officials, we will decide on the best scenario for all involved in October, with registration opening in November.

With so much uncertainty in the world, it is difficult to know where we will be at the start of 2021. However, I am certain that GCSAA is putting your safety and comfort first when it comes to planning the conference and show. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Rhett Evans
GCSAA CEO


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GOVERNOR'S ADMINISTRATION ADDS GOLF TO PHASE 2 OF THE COMMONWEALTH'S
RE-OPENING PLAN (June 3, 2020)

___________________________________________________________________________________

The Governor's Administration has provided advanced notice that the golf industry has been included in the formal Phase II Re-Opening plan. The updated guidelines pertaining to golf will go into effect once Phase II begins, a date that is yet to be determined by the Governor's Administration. Please read the full guidelines below.

"These workplace safety standards for Golf Facilities are posted in advance to the Governor’s initiation of Phase 2 to allow operators of golf courses time to prepare for reopening in compliance with these mandatory standards. Golf courses have operated in a limited fashion since May 7, 2020.  Golf Facilities may not expand their operations until specifically authorized to do so in Phase 2 of the Commonwealth’s Workplace Re-Opening Plan. The Governor will initiate Phase 2 of the Re-Opening Plan by formal Executive Order and only following a careful review of public health data." 

UPDATED GUIDELINES FOR GOLF INDUSTRY IN

MASSACHUSETTS as of 6/3/20)

Highlights:

  •       Require at least 12 minutes between group tee times
  •       Driving Ranges and Practice Areas 
  •       Use of driving range, putting green and other practice facilities must follow social distancing protocols and must require use of masks or face coverings 
  •       Modify driving range hitting areas to ensure a minimum 6-feet of separation between players
  •       Hole liners must be raised or otherwise adjusted so that players do not reach into the hole to retrieve a ball 
  •       Pro shops: must follow sector-specific standards for retail stores
  •       Restaurants: follow Phase 2 sector-specific standards 

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) will continue to work with the Governor's Administration and communicate with our respective memberships as updates are made available regarding the clarification and/or any relaxing of guidelines.

June 3, 2020
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_________________________________________________________________________
Alliance of Massachusetts golf organizations Requests NEW Amendments & Clarifications FOR GOLF COURSES
_______________________________________________________________

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) is publicly releasing its proposed amendments and clarifications for golf courses that would allow the Massachusetts golf industry to be in alignment with surrounding states and gain inclusion into the state’s phased re-opening plan.

Though golf was permitted to resume as a safe recreational activity on May 7, the entire industry in Massachusetts is currently lagging behind other states, and as a result is having negative effects on clubs as summer approaches. All golf guidelines have been limited to the FAQ essential services page on the Mass.Gov website with no timeline or specific plans for relaxing them and getting more staff members back to work.

As a result, AMGO has been petitioning that golf be afforded the same considerations as other industries that have been deemed essential. Such has been done in New York, a close and comparable regional hot spot.

On May 15, a list of clarifications and necessary amendments was sent to Governor Charlie Baker’s Administration. From that list, only the areas related to golf carts and additional staffing were addressed.

Therefore, AMGO is continuing to seek immediate adjustments and clarifications when it comes to allowing access to driving ranges, practice areas, clubhouses, restrooms, shorter tee time intervals, all of which are specifically mentioned in other states’ re-opening plans.

Scroll down to see the proposals, plus quotes from members of the golf community who have experienced the impact of these guidelines first hand.

IMMEDIATE CLARIFICATION

AMGO is currently seeking immediate clarification on restroom access, as the only current guideline stated is that clubhouses and locker rooms must be closed. The organization has proposed regular sanitation and a one person in, one person out policy.

Example: Rhode Island’s policy is as follows: “Restrooms may be used, but locker rooms, lounge areas, spas, must otherwise be closed. Restrooms must be cleaned frequently throughout the day.”

IMMEDIATE AMENDMENTS

AMGO is proposing three immediate amendments: Allow courses to reduce the minimum tee time intervals from 15 minutes down to 10 minutes, allow more options for cup/hole modifications, and allow facilities to open practice areas and driving ranges with proper social distancing guidelines in place.

Tee Times: Ten minutes is currently the interval used in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. Social distancing can be easily accomplished under this time interval; golfers are spaced over 300-500 yards per hole.

Cup Modifications: Currently, the Massachusetts policy requires the flagstick to stay in and that “hole liners must be raised,” whereas other states, like Rhode Island, provide options and specifically state, “Cup should be raised, lined, flipped or otherwise modified to prevent touching by players.” These methods still protect player and staff safety.

Practice Areas/Driving Ranges: Practice areas/driving ranges can safely re-open,  so long as they are monitored by staff and sanitized regularly. The same goes for driving ranges, where golfers can be spread out at least 6-to-8 feet apart, and capacity can be managed.

Jesse Menachem, Executive Director/CEO Mass Golf "While we appreciate the initial attention to opening golf as a safe recreational activity we are now well behind our colleagues and peers regionally and nationally and we believe that he golf industry must be considered essential as we app[roach the busiest time of the season."

Jennifer Webster O’Connor, Owner of Holly Ridge Golf Club & PGA Professional
 “The practice range is an integral part of our golf operation with a noticeable economic impact to our business.  Opening ranges and practice facilities also opens up an outdoor recreational activity for those who can’t get out onto the golf course (can’t get a tee time,  physically challenged,  juniors who aren’t course ready yet).  It would expand the ability for more people to be outside in a regulated and safe environment. We have addressed the distancing and sanitizing concerns for both staff and customers and are prepared to open safely.”

Dave Frem, General Manager of Cyprian Keyes Golf Club 
“We are certainly pleased that golf courses have re-opened, but we are still operating under restrictions and guidelines that are too onerous.  Lengthy tee time intervals, no driving ranges, late acknowledgment of the necessity of carts, and other restrictions are overly burdensome to golf courses yet do not provide any additional safety measures.  Many of the guidelines and restrictions can be lifted or relaxed without compromising the safety and health of either golfers or golf course staff.  Golf is a fun, safe, and healthy outdoor activity for people of all ages and should be considered an essential business with guidelines that makes sense for everyone.”

PHASED AMENDMENTS

AMGO has also seeking to have a pair of amendments specifically included in the state’s Four-Phase Approach Reopening Plan. Those amendments are to reintegrate caddies into operation and to allow for food & beverage operations to resume.

Caddies: Under the current FAQs, caddies are not allowed. AMGO is proposing a plan to allow for non-bag carrying caddies, who never touch equipment and/or allow caddies to drive single-rider carts, but not touch equipment. Forecaddies, who are always 200 yards ahead of the group playing, should also be included.

Food & Beverage: AMGO is also asking for on-course food & beverage operations, such as halfway shacks and beverage carts be opened for take-out and required to be monitored and sanitized regularly. Currently, “golf courses may offer no-contact take-out of food to be consumed off premises.” AMGO is asking that these operations be treated similarly to restaurant industries.

Colin McGuire, Executive Director of Francis Ouimet Fund
“Incorporating caddie programs in a safe way would help continue a long and valuable tradition in Massachusetts.  The opportunity to caddie is one that is important to many, serving as summer employment, forging important relationships with mentors and a value to tens of thousands of golfers who take caddies in the state.  The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund has a particular affinity for caddies as 56% of our financial need-based college scholarship recipients are eligible as caddies.”

Elaine Gebhardt, Executive Director of New England Golf Course Owners Association
“ The golf industry is the victim of many inconsistencies in the Phased Opening here in the Commonwealth.  Looking at the Guidelines for Parks, Open Spaces, and Outdoor Educations Programs – we can see how golf instruction would easily match the guidelines for Outdoor Education Programs – but driving ranges need to be opened as the venues for our programs and more.  Similarly, beaches have opened in Phase 1 and include access to restroom facilities.  Utilizing a restroom can be seen as a human necessity during a 4+ hour round of golf (plus commuting time to/from the golf course).  So beachgoers have restroom access but golfers don’t.  It doesn’t make sense.  These are just two examples of where the administration already has approved language in place for other sectors that can easily be applied to our industry and it is frustrating that it isn’t happening.”

Northeast State by State Comparison of Guidelines Requiring Further Attention


*All data captured from each State’s official Government website citing guidelines related to golf.

More feedback from AMGO & Mass Golf Industry Reps

Mike Higgins, Executive Director of New England PGA
 “Golf has proven to be a safe recreational activity not only in Massachusetts but throughout New England. We have seen that golfers can remain socially distanced at facilities with 10 minute starting times and while utilizing practice facilities.   think it is time for golf to be deemed an essential business in Massachusetts and the guidelines need to change to reflect that.”

Greg Howell, Manager of Operations for New England Golf Association 
“In our communications with our allies in each of the six New England States and across the northeast, we are deeply concerned about the status of golf in Massachusetts. While we continue to see measured, reasonable and safe guidelines implemented across New England and New York, Massachusetts started late and is falling further behind. The golf courses across the Bay State are filled with talented staff members that are more than capable of providing a safe and healthy environment for this recreational activity that so many love. To hamstring these owners/operators is a direct hit to their abilities and their passion for the game and it is a disservice their members, guests, and coworkers.”

Richard Luff, President of Sagamore Golf, Inc.
 “The golf season in New England is very short.  Arbitrary and inconsistent restrictions placed on operators is unfair and is a major threat to the viability of golf courses throughout the region.  If industry-approved, common-sense measures are not allowed to be enacted immediately, many golf courses will not be reopening in 2021.  Golf courses provide a fun, safe, and highly regulated ESSENTIAL outdoor activity for all ages.”

 

ABOUT AMGO

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) is made up of golf industry representatives from the state of Massachusetts working collectively to advocate for golf course owners/operators and golfers and to illustrate the tremendous importance that the golf industry has to the Commonwealth and its citizens.

The Bay State golf economy stands as an industry leader in generating jobs, driving visitors to our state, keeping manufacturing local, giving back to charitable causes, taking care of our environment and providing a fun and safe active past time for people of all ages and skill levels.

Allied Organizations

Mass Golf

New England Section of the PGA of America

New England Golf Course Owners Association

Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England

Golf Course Superintendents Association of Cape Cod

New England Chapter, Club Management Association of 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


America

New England Golf Association

Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund

PGA TOUR

May 29, 2020
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GOVERNOR'S ADMINISTRATION ADJUSTS GUIDELINES TO ALLOW SINGLE-RIDER GOLF CARS AS OF MAY 25, 2020 
_______________________________________________________________

The Governor's Administration has updated the guidelines pertaining to golf to allow golf cars to be used by a single rider or a group of family members in the same household beginning today, May 25. Please read the full guidelines below. 

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) will continue to work with the Governor's Administration and communicate with our respective memberships as updates are made available regarding the clarification and/or any relaxing of guidelines. 

UPDATED GUIDELINE FOR GOLF CAR USAGE (as of 5/25/20)

Updated Guideline for Golf Car Usage from the Non-Essential Business FAQ Update on Mass.gov :

• Golf cars may be used only if each golf car is used by and contains only a single rider, or a group of family members living in the same house. Any golf cars used must be cleaned and sanitized after each use. 

• Staffing must be limited to security and course maintenance/landscaping and the minimum workers necessary to service and clean golf cars. No other services may be provided.

A NOTE OF FURTHER CLARIFICATION FOR RESTAURANTS  (as of 5/25/20)

• Restaurants located on the premises of golf courses may offer no-contact take-out of food to be consumed off premises, but like all other restaurants, they may not allow any form of dine-in or outdoor, on-premises service. Outside seating and tables should be removed from locations near to any take-out service.

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GOVERNOR'S ADMINISTRATION PROVIDES ADVANCE NOTICE OF ADJUSTMENT TO GUIDELINES TO ALLOW FOR CAR USAGE BEGINNING MAY 25, 2020 
______________________________________________________________

The Governor's Administration has provided advanced notice, to be shared with all golf course owners and club contacts, that the guidelines pertaining to golf car usage will be updated tomorrow Monday, May 25 to allow for single rider golf car usage and same household golf car usage. A notice will be sent to all golfers tomorrow morning, Monday, May 25, once the guidance is made public with the exact language. Again, the Governor's Administration has provided this advance notice for golf course owners and club contacts only. 

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations (AMGO) will continue to work with the Governor's Administration and communicate with our members as updates are made available regarding the clarification and/or any relaxing of guidelines. 

UPDATED INFORMATION FOR GOLF CAR USAGE (as of 5/25/20)

Exact wording of Guideline for golf car usage will be provided once the Administration updates the Non-Essential Business FAQ Update on Mass.gov tomorrow May, 25:

Single rider golf cars will be allowed beginning Monday, May 25.  Individuals from the same household may ride in the same golf car.

Additionally, club and course owners may bring in additional staff to help with managing and sanitizing the additional golf cars.
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GOLF IS OPEN!

The following is an FAQ update from the mass.gov 
website that provides guidelines established by the
Governor’s Administration so that golf courses can
provide access to golfers starting 
May 7. With this
consideration by Governor Baker and his team we
would like to remind everyone that keeping the golf
community safe is of the utmost importance right
now and we must all contribute to that end.  

The Alliance of Massachusetts Golf Organizations will
continue to work with the Governor's Administration
and communicate with our respective memberships as
updates are made available regarding the clarification
and/or any relaxing of guidelines. 

___________________________________________________________________________________ 
GOLF GUIDELINES FOR SAFE PLAY IN
MASSACHUSETTS 
DURING COVID-19 ERA
Non-Essential Business FAQ Update from mass.gov                                         
(as of as (as of 5/10/20)

Golf courses are not essential businesses and cannot
have employees working on-premise. Notwithstanding
this restriction, essential services, such as groundskeeping
to avoid hazardous conditions and security, provided by
employees, contractors, or vendors are permitted.  Private
operator of courses may permit individuals access to
the property so long as there are no gatherings of any
kind, appropriate social distancing of six feet between
individuals is strictly followed, and the business
operator and golfers abide by the specific guidelines
for golf courses
.

Municipalities may decide to open municipal courses under
these guidelines, if they so choose.

Guidelines:

The specific guidelines for golf courses are:

  • Security personnel can be delineated by each club
    (ex. a pro and the head starter) and will be present to
    enforce social distancing. There can be no other
    employees working at the recreational component
    of the golf operation.
  • All staff must wear face coverings while on the
    property.
  • Club facilities including but not limited to the club
    house, pro shop, restaurant, bag room and locker
    room must remain closed.
  • No caddies allowed.
  • No golf carts allowed, except as outlined below:
    The use of a motorized cart may be permitted for
    any individual with a
    disability who is seeking a
    reasonable accommodation to ensure compliance
    with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  A
    golfer who wants to use a cart should provide
    documentation or otherwise certify in writing to
    the golf course that he or she has a disability that
    requires the use of the cart. 
  • Any carts used must be cleaned and sanitized after
    each use.  The course operator may not use
    non-essential employees to handle the renting
    and/or cleaning of the carts.  Only security and
    groundskeeping personnel are permitted on the
    premises.
  • Push carts may be used. Players must either carry
    their own bag or use a push cart.
  • All golfers must maintain proper social distancing of
    at least 6 feet at all times.
  • Groups of players are restricted to no more than
    4 players at one time.
  • Members-only clubs can allow guests as determined
    by the security personnel on the golf course.
  • Private clubs that allow non-members to make
    reservations can do so at their discretion.
  • Maintenance personnel are permitted to work on
    the golf course.
  • Tee Time Policy must be 15 minutes between groups
  • Golfers must stay in their car until 15 minutes before
    their tee time and must return to their car
    immediately following play.
  • Online and remote payment options must be utilized.
  • All golfers must use their own golf clubs. Sharing golf
    clubs or rental golf clubs is not allowed.
  • Flag sticks must remain in the hole. Hole liners must
    be raised so picking a ball out of the hole doesn't
    occur.
  • Bunker rakes must be removed, and ball washers
    must be removed or covered.
  • Practice putting green, driving range, and chipping
    areas must be closed.
  • Facilities must have readily accessible hand sanitizer

For additional information for course maintenance and
employee and player safety 
please view the attached
guidelines
 GCSAA Back2Golf.pdf from the Golf Course
Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).  

May 11, 2020
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