GOLF clubs and other related establishments in movement control order (MCO) districts are bracing themselves for the effects of the latest restrictions imposed on the sport, following the announcement to temporarily suspend play in the affected areas.
This confirmation follows a series of events that also saw golf reinstated, albeit for one day.
The Youth & Sports Ministry decreed on Thursday that all sport related activities, including golf in MCO districts and states, were to be temporarily suspended with immediate effect and until further notice from the Government.
In a statement of their own, released on Friday, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) said things could restart in the said districts, but with the laid down safety protcols in place.
But yesterday things took another turn when the national association confirmed that they had received a directive from the ministry to suspend golf with effect from today.
In his statement yesterday, MGA president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said that they “deeply regretted the suspension, but health and safety remains our top priority during this challenging period”.
In the initial suspension, Mohd Anwar had said that “routine golf maintenance activities could still be undertaken provided that at any one time no more than
30% of the total course and maintenance staff be at the work place.” This still applies.
He added: “As for states under the conditional movement control order (CMCO), golf related operations may resume provided the MGA’s mandatory standard operating procedures (MSOPs) are strictly complied with.”
The communiqué further read: “Please take note that golf clubs located in CMCO states must install plastic separators in buggies for twin sharing usage or alternatively, must enforce the one golfer per buggy policy if separators cannot be installed.”
But as difficult as these restrictions are to deal with during this Covid-19 pandemic, they are necessary and must adhered to without exception.
These sentiments were echoed by several folks spoken to by TeeUp in the wake of the announcements this week – and quite rightly so.
A member of a Klang Valley club affected by the latest developments and who wanted to be addressed only as John, said he fully agreed and called on others to toe the line and help combat the spread of the Coronavirus by following the SOPs laid down by the authorities.
“It’s important that we (golfers) also play our part in trying the halt the virus from spreading.
“What people should remember is that the sooner the spread of Covid-19 is brought under control the sooner we will be able to go out more freely. So the simple thing to do to achieve this, is for all of us to do our part, ” he added.
In their mandatory standard operating procedures of the MGA, clubs that are fortunate enough to be still operational can allow “family members residing in the same house to use twin sharing buggies without separators”.
The MGA have also declared that jumbo flights are suspended, pending further updates on the matter and ruled out golf competitions.
“Golf competitions are not allowed, ” the national governing body said and called of industry stakeholders to use MySejahtera to record the entry golfers and employees to golf clubs and driving ranges.
The MGA have encouraged online payments to be made or bank transfers for registration and for golfers to register 20 minutes prior to teeing off.
“Staff at registration counters should be equipped with face masks/gloves and ensure that hand sanitisers were readily available, along with disposable pencils.
“Temperature checks for each golfer before entering the golf club should also be carried out, as too the sanitising of hands.
“One golfer should register for each flight and social distancing markers be clearly demarcated at the Registration Counter.”
Among the other restrictions in place are the removal of all touchable surfaces, such as bunker rakes, water coolers, sand bags and ball washers.