With spring on our doorstep and courses set to open, it is normally a time of joy for golfers. But with the battle against COVID-19 affecting all areas of our lives, it is a spring like no other. While there are many things more important than golf, especially in times of trouble, the SDGA and the South Dakota Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) believe golf can be a safe and valuable recreation and wellness option during these times.
Here is what we can all do to help keep courses open for play.
If courses are lax in their policies and/or golfers are not vigilant in following them, this will increase any pressure that might exist to close courses completely.
We have created COVID-19 pages on our website at SDGA COVID-19. It will be updated with the current status of our Championships and Junior Tour, as well as the latest links to resources to help courses create policies and for golfers to learn what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe when you are at the course.
At this point, all events are moving forward as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation and make another assessment in early May. In the event of a cancellation, full refunds will be issued. We encourage you to sign up for Championships, Junior Tour, and First Tee programs now to secure your spots and take advantage of early buy incentives. Go to SDGA to register for Championships and the Junior Tour, and FIRST TEE SOUTH DAKOTA for First Tee locations and registration.
One way that everyone can help support their local club and the SDGA is to join the GHIN handicap service at your facility. You will not only be helping your club and the work we do at the SDGA to support the game, you will really enjoy the new features of the World Handicap System and the new GHIN app! Learn more at SDGA - WORLD HANDICAP SYSTEM. Contact your club or our office to find out how to join.
As you start to post scores on April 1, here are three things that we want you to remember.
Following the current public health guidelines in every aspect of our lives is the best thing everyone can do to lessen the serverity of the impact of this virus. This is an opportunity to demonstrate that golf is more than a game to us. It teaches us life lessons and embodies values that we strive to apply in everything we do. We teach these 9 Core Values through our First Tee programs.
RESPONSIBILITY - Take time to understand what you can do to slow the spread and flatten the curve.
RESPECT - Follow the new COVID related policies at the course, at work, and at home.
COURTESY - Abide by social distancing requirements.
JUDGMENT - Stay at home and away from the course if you are not feeling well.
INTEGRITY - Abide by course rules and general health guidelines even when others are not watching.
HONESTY - Be honest with yourself and stay away from others if feel you might be exposed.
SPORTSMANSHIP - Treating each other with kindness, especially when things don't go our way, is more important than winning or getting our way.
CONFIDENCE - By pulling together and supporting each other, we know that we will prevail.
PERSEVERANCE - We stay committed and focused during the rough patches because that is when we need it the most. We will get through this together.
After working together to get through this public health crisis, we will emerge on the other side stronger as a state and nation. As golfers, we will have played our part to both advance public health goals and keep active and healthy through golf while it is available.
Please contact us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.
Make good decisions and stay safe.
Tom Jansa, PGA
President, SDGA Board of Directors
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