Blog

PGCSA/Allied Statewide COVID-19 Response Information Page

Covid-19 Resource Links [scroll down for updates by date]

PA Alliance for Golf [P.A.G.] Course Open Guidelines: Click here.
PA Alliance for Golf [P.A.G.]Course Open Poster: Click here.

GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES PERMITTED TO OPERATE DURING THE COVID-19 DISASTER EMERGENCY TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC” available here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200504-COVID-19-Business-Guidance.pdf

Safe Play BMP Toolkit for getting back to golf from GCSAA:  https://www.gcsaa.org/resources/back2golf-resources

National Golf Foundations COVID-19 page: https://www.thengfq.com/covid-19/

State of PA: Essential Business update 4/27/2020

PPE Resource page: https://www.gcsaa.org/resources/covid-19-pandemic-resources/ppe-donations

The Labor Department has created new OSHA  COVID-19 posters for workplaces [available for download in Spanish and English]: https://clubandresortbusiness.com/labor-department-publishes-new-osha-posters-to-reduce-workplace-exposure-to-coronavirus/

     Click here for English
     Click here for Spanish

GCSAA Resource link: https://www.gcsaa.org/resources/covid-19-pandemic-resources

PA.Gov Updates: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Update 7/2/2020
PA Mandates Masks:
https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-wear-a-mask-pennsylvania/

What does this mean for golf? Masks required for carts shared by two people not from the same household: Guidance would be that players wear a mask while sharing a cart, then lower it to play once off the cart. Masks are required for all indoor facilities, and for congregating less than six feet apart outdoors. Here is the PA Guidance:

Face Coverings Required: Pennsylvanians should wear masks during the following situations:

  • If you’re outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from other people who aren’t members of your household.
  • Indoors in a public location where other people are present.
  • Waiting for, riding on, driving or operating public transportation, paratransit, a taxi, private car service or ride sharing vehicle.
  • Obtaining healthcare services from a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician, dental office, veterinary clinic or blood bank.
  • Working, whether at a workplace or off-site, interacting in-person with any member of the public, working in a space visited by members of the public, working in any place where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution, working or walking in common areas, working in any room or enclosed area with other people unless it’s with members of your own household.

Update 5/31/2020
Update from the Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf [P.A.G.]

The Alliance has sought further guidance from the Governor’s office regarding course operations during the yellow and green phases. While the P.A.G. guidance for planning for play is being updated, we wanted to share with you the clarifications received from Cindy Cashman, Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs.

  1. Counties in the yellow phase: carts can be shared. Please see question # 27 of the FAQs:

    https://www.scribd.com/document/452553495/UPDATED-8-00-AM-May-29-2020-Life-Sustaining-Business-FAQs

  1. In the yellow phase, golf courses can open, have in-person operations and can have caddies as well. Facilities must follow all the guidance [see below] to keep employees and customers safe, including wear masks, and wipe down the carts, etc. Also beginning June 5th for those courses that have a restaurant on site, they can then offer outdoor dining at 50% capacity.

  2. In the green phase, they can then offer indoor dining at 50% capacity as well as in-person operations, caddies, etc. while maintaining social distancing.

It is critical to adhere to the “GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES PERMITTED TO OPERATE DURING THE COVID-19 DISASTER EMERGENCY TO ENSURE THE SAFETY AND HEALTH OF EMPLOYEES AND THE PUBLIC” available here: https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200504-COVID-19-Business-Guidance.pdf]

Update 5/16/2020
New article from NGF highlights how golf is operating currently across the country: Click Here.

12 counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 22. Those counties include Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Wayne, and York.

Update 5/8/2020
New Back2Golf Resources from GCSAA and the WeAreGolf alliance:
–Back2Golf Operations Playbook: click here.
–Guidelines for Opening up Golf during COVID-19: click here.
–Back to Golf Allied Statement: click here.

From Governor Wolf’s office 5/7/2020:
Updated FAQ [see #27] on golf for the state of PA: members of the same household may share a cart.

Update 4/28/2020
As golf courses in the state prepare to open up for play, there are many questions. The PGCSA/Allied continues to provide resources, as well as advocate as part of the newly formed Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf [P.A.G.].

Today, the alliance finalized guidelines for opening courses for play while keeping the well being of everyone in mind. The links to those documents are above and below. These guidelines and resources will be sent to all members of P.A.G. groups, including golf professionals, club managers, club owners, and superintendents. Please share as necessary.

Guidelines: Open for Play
Open for Play Poster

Update 4/27/2020
Governor Wolf Announces Golf to Open Friday, May 1: Click here
[Beginning May 1, 2020, golf courses operators may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind and appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly abided. Golf carts may be utilized, but must be single occupant only. No employees are allowed for purposes of facilitating play; however, operations such as landscape maintenance and other “services to building and dwellings” may continue as necessary to prevent deterioration of property condition. Restaurant activity is limited to take-out or delivery only, and use of facilities for banquets or similar gatherings remains prohibited.]

How to open safely? Click here for GCSAA’s toolkit: 
https://www.gcsaa.org/resources/back2golf-resources

Update 4/22/2020
Career assistance fees waived: GCSAA knows your career may have been impacted by the global COVID-19 Pandemic and we want to provide you with support in this challenging time. Now through the end of 2020, all career services are FREE to GCSAA members.
Click here.

Update 4/20/2020
Today, Governor Wolf announced that the PA stay-at-home mandate is extended to May 8. Meanwhile, in the past few days, an alliance of golf industry partners has been formed to advocate for the industry in the state. A letter from the Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf [P.A.G.] has been sent [today] to the office of Governor Wolf: Click here for letter.

The Pennsylvania Alliance for Golf was formed to create a unified voice for the future of golf in Pennsylvania.
Supporting Pennsylvania golf organizations include; Central Pennsylvania Chapter of Club Managers Association, Golf Association of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Golf Association, Pennsylvania Golf Course Owners Association, Pennsylvania Golf Course Superintendents Association (all seven Pa. Chapters), Philadelphia & Vicinity Club Management Association & Philadelphia Club Foundation, Philadelphia PGA Section, Pittsburgh Chapter of the Club Management Association of America, Tri-State Section PGA, Western New York PGA Section, Western Pennsylvania Golf Association.

GCSAA Town Hall Briefings take place every Monday at 2 p.m. Eastern. CEU’s are given and you may also listen to the recordings after the events. Today’s link will be posted soon and below are links to the previous.

Update 4/17/2020
Minnesota golf opens 4/18/20: https://www.startribune.com/gov-walz-will-allow-minnesota-golf-courses-to-open/569727082/

Golf Course Superintendents “Zoom” with the Golf Association of Philadelphia about course maintenance in the current crisis: Click Here.

New COVID-19 Unemployment/Benefits Chart: Click Here

Reminder: the National Golf Foundations COVID-19 page is a great resource to keep tabs on:
https://www.thengfq.com/covid-19/

Update 4/14/2020
Governors across the country are forming regional alliances:
https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-governor-cuomo-governor-murphy-governor-lamont-governor-carney-governor-raimondo-announce-multi-state-council-to-get-people-back-to-work-and-restore-the-economy/?fbclid=IwAR0H_XMj1hgjtziebCrgW4Xw0GttcUwxDH1mbMaTVpGjoPRFpikgOZtHnuU

PPE Resource page: https://www.gcsaa.org/resources/covid-19-pandemic-resources/ppe-donations

Update 4/13/2020
PGA of America just released that it has established an emergency relief fund to aid Golf Industry Professionals. The group of potential applicants includes a wide swath of the golf industry, ranging from PGA of America professionals to caddies, superintendents, golf course owners and developmental tour players: Click here.

The Labor Department has created new OSHA  COVID-19 posters for workplaces [available for download in Spanish and English]: https://clubandresortbusiness.com/labor-department-publishes-new-osha-posters-to-reduce-workplace-exposure-to-coronavirus/

Click here for English
Click here for Spanish

Update 4/10/2020
State of DE Update: the use of motorized/push carts for physically disabled players on Delaware golf courses
Here is the new rule:

  1. A person with a valid and up-to-date handicap placard issued by the Delaware DMV, may use a motorized or push cart.
  2. This person must show evidence of the placard before playing their round.
  3. There may only be one-person per cart.
  4. This only applies if the golf course agrees to fully sanitize the golf cart after each use.
    1. Wipe down with disinfectant any surface that may have been touched by that golfer.
  5. If the golf course does not want to sanitize the cart after each use, then this allowance is not provided to that golf course.
  6. A player may bring their own push cart.
  7. If a player lives on the golf course and owns their own golf cart, they may use that golf cart. Local laws apply.
  8. All other rules apply.

Update 4/8/2020
PA abruptly announces opening of fishing/Trout season on Tuesday. Could this help golf?
https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/sports/outdoors/2020/04/07/after-fishing-precedent-set-pa-golfers-now-have-legitimate-beef/2963891001/

GCSAA Disaster Relief Fund available to those impacted by COVID-19: GCSAA will provide up to $500 to members who have experienced the loss of their jobs, layoffs or have been unable to work due to the effects of COVID-19. Funds can be used for items such as, but not limited, to groceries, medication, fuel, personal bills and childcare.

Any GCSAA member is eligible for this assistance, excluding the Friend of the Golf Course Superintendent classification.

  • Assistance will be processed on a first-come, first serve basis. Members must contact GCSAA at 800-472-7878 or email mbrhelp@gcsaa.org.
  • Members are also welcome to submit names of GCSAA members they may know who need assistance.

GCSAA’s goal is to provide financial assistance as quickly as possible.

Donations made to the fund are an opportunity for those in the golf industry to directly assist their peers and are tax deductible. The fund is administered through GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf. You can donate today at https://environmental-institute-for-golf.snwbll.com/disaster-relief-fund-giving-portal or by texting Disaster to 785-693-2593 and following the link in the response.

Visit https://www.gcsaa.org/about-gcsaa/gcsaa-disaster-relief-fund for more information.

Update 4/7/2020
The CARES ACT: Click Here to Tell Congress to Support 501(c)(7) Organizations
Congress recently passed the $2 trillion CARES Act to support businesses, working individuals, and families struggling to deal with the fallout of COVID-19. While the golf industry was not specifically excluded from the bill, clubs that are organized as a 501(c)(7) – and the employees who work for them – do not currently qualify for some benefits included in the bill, specifically the Paycheck Protection Program. Click here to sign the petition

The state of Delaware has released new modifications for golf courses:

“Golf courses may continue operation with the following restrictions:

i. Clubhouses, indoor areas where people congregate, and locker rooms (with the exception of bathrooms) must be closed. Any food service must comply with the restrictions on restaurants set forth in the State of Emergency declaration and all modifications;

ii. Golf courses are prohibited from providing guests with motorized carts, golf bag carts, pencils, scorecards, or snack carts;

iii. Golf courses must monitor tee times and players to ensure adequate social distancing, and must raise flagsticks and holes to prevent players from touching cups;

iv. Players are prohibited from accessing neighboring properties to retrieve stray balls.”

Update 4/6/2020
New Webinar Resource: Rutgers Turfgrass Specialists talk about how to maintain a course during this time, including money/labor-saving techniques that are relative to our area. Click Here.

Update 4/4/2020
FAIRWAYIQ and Golfdom have partnered to create a GoFundMe campaign to support Golf Course Maintenance Employees during this crisis. Click here for full details in the letter. The GoFundMe link is below:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-relief-fund-for-golf-course-workers?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Update 4/3/2020
PA: Governor Wolf: It is important that as many people as possible wear a non-medical or homemade mask when leaving their homes. View instructions for how to make a homemade mask. General guidance for Pennsylvanians: All 67 counties in Pennsylvania are under a Stay at Home Order through April 30. Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings.

The state of DE intends to keep its borders closed until May 15, as of now. Enforcement has begun: for PAGCS members and other individuals who need the list of essential business for entry into the state, that link is below. It has also been stated that non-DE residents must conduct business and leave [for example, do not access retail operations unless directly tied to the essential business].

List of Essential Businesses/Personnel for Delaware.

Updated 4/2/2020
The Governor of Delaware has issued new restrictions on travel across the state boarder. The full information is linked below. Please note that PA residents, no matter what, may not travel to Delaware for any non-essential activity, including golf.
To General Managers of Private and Public Golf re DE golf
DE Seventh-Modification-to-State-of-Emergency-03292020
https://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/public/covid-19-faqs-delawares-stay-at-home-orders/

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their
employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Click here for full details.

Updated 4/1/2020
Governor Wolf extends Stay-at-Home Orders to all of PA:
https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/gov-wolf-sec-of-health-pennsylvania-on-statewide-stay-at-home-order-beginning-at-8-pm-tonight-most-prudent-option-to-stop-the-spread/

GCSAA/USGA joint worksheet on minimal maintenance on the golf course:
https://www.gcsaa.org/docs/default-source/resources/covid-19-minimum-maintenance-gcsaa-usga.pdf?sfvrsn=b95dfa3e_0

The NGF created a new COVID-19 webpage resource, with interactive data on the impact of the pandemic on the industry:
https://www.thengfq.com/covid-19/

Update 3/31/2020
Link for small businesses to the CARES Act Information: The Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act (1)

Governor Wolf extends Stay-at-Home Orders for counties affected through 4/30/2020; Schools closed indefinitely. Click here for more details.

Update 3/28/2020
In case you missed it:
https://www.inquirer.com/business/coronavirus-pa-golf-courses-open-closed-20200327.html

New Resources:

Podcast with helpful industry impact information [3/25/2020]:
https://patjonesflagstick.com/flagstick-blog/p3ljl9qja6tcdlzy4ufn9qyoaxw0hm

Nationwide status report [as of 5 p.m. 3/26/2020]:
https://www.gcsaa.org/advocacy/priority-issues/coronavirus-pandemic/50-state-coronavirus-update

Update 3/24/2020, 2:15 p.m
Further language clarification from the office of the Speaker of the House Mr. Mike Turzai that you can use is below as well as supporting document links.

“In regards to the ability to continue maintaining the grounds, we received confirmation from DCED that landscaping has been included under “essential services” – meaning the superintendents may continue maintaining the grounds at this time.”

Click here: Landscape Services as of March 20 for further clarification language on “Landscape” operation.

Please click here for the updated list of essential businesses/workers [pg. 4, Professional Services section addresses the industry on two fronts].

03.23.20-Stay-At-Home-Order-Guidance for clarification on the Stay-at-Home Mandate and the ability for essential workers to continue.

GCSAA Resources:
https://www.gcsaa.org/resources/covid-19-pandemic-resources?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=This%20Week

Suggestions for creating a maintenance procedural plan during the COVID-19 crisis:
https://pagcs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Suggestions-for-creating-a-maintenance-plan-during-COVID-19-if-your-course-has-been-closed.docx

Update 3/23/2020, 7:30 p.m.
From PA House Speaker Turzai’s website this afternoon:

This afternoon, Gov. Wolf issued a Stay-at-Home order for a number of counties, including Allegheny County. There is no curfew in place, but the order goes into place at 8 PM this evening and is in effect for two weeks. This order emphasizes that individuals in the county, to the extent possible, should stay at home and distance themselves from others. There is no change to the life-sustaining businesses and waivers that have previously been in place, or to the requirements for restaurants to limit their operations to take-out and delivery. Below is a link to additional information about the “Stay at Home” mandate.

https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.23.20-Stay-At-Home-Order-Guidance.pdf

 

The progress on the Maintenance Clarification Letter sent yesterday to Mike Turzai, Speaker of the House:

My staff is posting on our website and on Facebook. We are writing letter to Governor and his team on your behalf attaching the golf maintenance association’s letter. your association letter is well written I might add. As for you at Wildwood, please proceed. You may say that you spoke to me as Speaker. Give anyone who asks my cell phone number to call me if there is any question. Sincerely, Mike Turzai.

Sent from my iPhone

[original email:

Mr. Speaker,
On behalf of Turfgrass Managers in our Commonwealth, I submit to you a letter to Governor Wolf.
This letter outlines the critical function Turfgrass managers provide to their businesses.
Thank you for your attention,
Tom Fisher
Wildwood Golf Club]

Update 3/22/2020, 12 p.m.
Joshua Arsenault, District Director for Pennsylvania Senator Maria Collett, has issued a statement indicating the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has now confirmed that landscaping is included under “Essential Services” as referenced in Governor Wolf’s Closure Order, and, therefore golf course superintendents in Pennsylvania may continue to maintain the grounds at this time.

Arsenault also noted in a subsequent statement that this situation is evolving rapidly and this confirmation from DCED may be subject to change in the future.

We emphasize that the confirmation from DCED applies to Pennsylvania golf courses only.  GAP will continue to monitor developments in New Jersey and Delaware.

3/21/20
The PA statewide golf and turf industry advocacy effort continues. A cohesive letter is being sent to Gov. Wolf through the Speaker of the House. You are advised to share this with any lawmaker or representative. See below for letter.

  1. PA Golf Maintenace Clarification Letter to Gov. Wolf – final 3-22-2020

Additional Resources:

To seek a waiver: RA-dcexemption@pa.gov

To email the Administration with questions/clarification about operation: ra-dcedcs@pa.gov