How golfers can respond to the COVID-19 scare
Here with some advice:
- Pack disinfectant wipes. You may not be able to steer clear of a COVID-19-infected person, but you can certainly wipe down the steering wheel of your golf car. Packets of alcohol-based sanitizing wipes can easily fit in your golf bag or golf car console.
- Keep a tube of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your pocket to use after giving a high-five for a great shot or shaking hands on the 18th hole.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with your hands unless you have used an alcohol-based sanitizer first. Also do this before touching food or cigars.
- Make sure to wash/sanitize your hands after answering nature’s call. Yes, even after a trip behind the trees.
- Leave in the flag on putts. Thank you, USGA. No tending necessary.
- Walk, don’t ride. This reduces the more intimate contact of a cart.
- Fist-bump instead of handshake. It’s more hygienic—and hip. But don’t pull a Tom Watson:
- Better yet, bump with your elbow instead of your fist.
- Know your partners. It’s obviously a good idea to avoid playing—and especially riding in a golf car—with someone who’s persistently coughing or sneezing. But sometimes you have to ride with a stranger. Unless you know her or him personally, don’t believe they just have allergies.
- Don’t play if you feel at all flu-like. And if you dare play, wear a face mask.
The COVID-19th Hole
Off-course attentiveness follows on-course vigilance. The grill room, 19th hole, locker room and other gathering spots in the clubhouse bring you into closer contact with others than do any spots on the links.
In addition to the previously mentioned safeguards, here are some pointers for the great indoors:
Wash up directly after golf. Head to the rest room before ordering a cold one. Try not to touch any surfaces (even the rest-room-door handle) after washing your hands.
Don’t order for the table. Nachos, wings, etc. are “sharable”—and so is what’s on everybody’s hands.
Try to wipe down any areas (tabletops, fitness equipment, bars, chairs, playing cards, poker chips) with which your hands and or other body parts may come into contact.
As far as ‘COVID-19-safe’ activities go, golf has a leg up on most. It is played outdoors and does not require a lot of close contact with others.