THE Malaysian Golf Association’s (MGA) announcement this week to allow, among other things, the resumption of tournaments and twin-sharing buggies was just what the industry needed.
Reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the golf industry welcomed the developments that came on the back of the government relaxing some of the standard operating Procedures (SOPs) put in place to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The MGA said earlier this week that golf competitions could resume provided there were no prize-giving ceremonies and that the events be restricted to a maximum of 100 players.
Any other private competitions (events) held at golf clubs would require prior sanctioning from the national association.
“Twin-sharing buggy is permitted. However, the use of single buggies (one buggy, one player) is encouraged, ” added the statement.
The MGA called on everyone in the game to play their part in the effort to keep the wheels of the industry turning and follow for the standard operating procedures (SOPs) announced by the National Security Council last week.
“These should be strictly adhered to at golf clubs and establishments, ” said MGA.
In the announcement, some SOPs were relaxed, including inter-state travel,
which in itself was warmly received by stakeholders in the game.
Among the SOPs the MGA stressed should be adhered to are that bookings be made in advance and that clubs only accept online payments or bank transfers.
“Use MySejahtera to register the entry of golfers and employees and ensure that the health/travel declaration are completed by all employees and players.”
The MGA statement added: “Insist on social distancing at tee-boxes, greens and throughout the round, remove all touchable surfaces (like sand bunker rakes, water coolers, sand bags and ball washers) and leave the flag stick in, but cover the hole with a plate (of some sort) so that it is at least half-an-inch below the cup.”
A senior member at a Klang Valley golf club, who spoke to TeeUp on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to address the media, said it was imperative that all golf establishments and those related to them follow the directives “if only to keep the industry going.
“Golf is fortunate to be able to still continue in this (pandemic) environment and so we (in the industry) should all do our bit to make sure it stays this way, to keep things open and running.
“We all felt it when play was stopped in the first MCO (movement control order). So now to able to operate, even in a restricted manner is still something worth while for the clubs. And this is what we should all be aiming for – to keep things open.”
With the resumption of events, there was a fair bit of activity reported in the week. A couple of full-field events (100 players) have already been confirmed and deliberations on others are nearing conclusion.
“With this good news (to host tournaments again) there have discussions on several levels taking place, ” said an industry insider. “As we know today, some events have already been confirmed and others will surely be confirmed in the not too distant future, ” she added.
This will no doubt help clubs to increase their revenue base, as too will the lifting on the restrictions of one-buggy one-player.
Using one buggy to cart around one player, reduces player traffic (for buggies) by half. Thus, things should get better – even if not up to full throttle just yet.