What to expect at a GSGA Junior Tour Event in 2020

The highest priority for the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) is the health, safety and well-being of all players, spectators, GSGA staff, GSGA volunteers, as well as everyone at our host facilities that generously offer their golf course for our events. The intent of the following policies and procedures is to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 by utilizing publicly available guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the GSGA cannot guarantee a risk-free environment. It is everyone's responsibility to follow these guidelines and do your part to help make our events as safe as possible. We thank you in advance for familiarizing yourself and following all policies and procedures the GSGA has implemented. Until further notice, the following policies and procedures will be in effect:

General Information

  • We will be in regular contact with host facilities prior to and throughout each competition to discuss sanitizing practices for common touchpoints such as carts, practice balls, bathrooms, etc. While we aim to be consistent across the entire schedule with its policies and procedures, there may be certain instances where a host club’s policies take precedence. Any modifications will be communicated to players through the tournament website, e-mail and/or text message.

  • Before arriving on-site for a competition, if you feel sick or show any symptoms of COVID-19, or if within the last fourteen (14) days you have felt sick, shown any symptoms of COVID-19, been diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, we request that you stay home and notify us before your starting time. Note: This year we are providing full refunds of entry fees regardless of reason until a player’s starting time (only for the first day of competition for multi-day events).

  • We ask that social (physical) distancing is always practiced by keeping a minimum of six (6) feet from others. Players and caddies found violating social distancing practices may be subject to a Code of Conduct violation.

  • There are no restrictions on spectators attending competitions. Spectators are advised to remain on cart paths and to maintain social distancing from players and other spectators.

  • Please ensure all contact information in your BlueGolf Players Club account is updated to receive text messages and e-mails about important event updates and weather delays. General competition announcements will be e-mailed prior to each competitive round. If you have not updated your account to include an active cell phone number to receive text message notifications, we ask that you do so you do not miss any essential information. Please contact the GSGA Junior Tour office at (770) 850-9040 or juniortour@gsga.org with any contact information updates. Instructions on how to check/update your cell phone number within your Players Club account can be found here.

  • Before arriving on-site, please be certain that your parent/guardian has signed and returned the GSGA’s COVID-19 Participant Release and Waiver that was sent to you electronically prior to the competition. If your parent/guardian has not signed the waiver in advance, you will not be permitted to participate in the competition.

  • Onsite registration for single-day competitions has been eliminated. Please arrive at the starting tee 10 minutes prior to your starting time.

  • Player gifts, when applicable, will be safely packaged using PPE and sanitized by GSGA staff at least 72 hours prior to arriving on-site for the competition. Registration times, when applicable, will be lengthened and GSGA staff will have proper plans for safe distribution. This may include, but is not limited to, the distribution of player gifts taking place at the scoring area at the end of your round.

  • Buffet lunches have been eliminated until further notice. Food & Beverage offerings will vary from club to club and we will update tournament websites with all pertinent information.

  • Our Spectator Cart Policy will remain in effect. While not guaranteed at every event, spectator carts may be rented based on availability. The rental fee is determined by each individual host facility. Please note that requests for spectator carts may be limited or denied in some circumstances (poor weather conditions, lack of available carts at host facility, etc.) and use of a cart is subject to final approval by the host facility. 

Before Your Starting Time

  • We request that players not arrive at the golf course MORE THAN 60 MINUTES prior to your starting time so that potential large gatherings of players at practice facilities can be avoided.

  • Practice range stations will be spaced accordingly to promote social distancing. Practice balls will be set out without bags or baskets and hole flags will be removed from practice putting greens. Please note that it may be necessary for us to limit the amount of time, or number of persons allowed, to practice at a specific location (e.g., range, putting green, short game) in order to provide an opportunity for all players to have time to warm-up. 

  • A competition bulletin board/signage will be available near the starting tee so players may take a picture of all relevant documents including Modified Policies and Procedures, GSGA Junior Tour Rules of Play, Spectator Guidelines, Caddie Responsibilities, Notice to Players, and Hole Location sheet. Paper copies of the Notice to Players and Hole Location sheet will also be available on the starting tee, when applicable. Additionally, when applicable, the Notice to Players and Hole Location sheet will be e-mailed to players and available for download on the respective tournament’s website no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day before the competition round.

  • Players are asked to refrain from the traditional handshake or hug prior to the round.

  • Please be aware of all signage on and around the golf course that communicates important safety and competition instructions.

During Your Round

  • We will utilize single tee starts ONLY and will increase starting time intervals to 12 minutes between groups. In some cases, this modification has caused a reduction to our normal field sizes.

  • Caddies will continue to be allowed for 9-Hole competitions ONLY. Caddies will be required to sign the GSGA’s COVID-19 Participant Release and Waiver in advance of a competition in which they will serve as a caddie.

  • During emergencies and course evacuations, players may abandon social distancing in an effort to safely seek shelter.

  • The only time players may be in a cart with another person is during an evacuation for a dangerous weather situation. We will make every effort to have designated evacuation locations where players can socially distance. Information will be sent via text message in addition to verbal announcements during the suspension of play. Please review the GSGA Evacuation Plan here.

  • Shuttle carts will NOT be available at ANY GSGA competitions.

  • Tees, pencils, permanent markers, sunscreen, bug spray, etc., will NOT be provided at the starting tee and players should come prepared.

  • Hole Locations and Notice to Players, when applicable, will be posted online to the tournament website. A link to access these documents will be e-mailed to the field. These documents will still be available in paper form at the starting tee.

  • The GSGA will provide one generic paper scorecard for each player on the starting tee prior to each round. If you do not wish to use the provided scorecard, you are encouraged to download and print your own scorecard to bring to the competition. Scorecards for 9- and 18-Hole competitions can be viewed and printed here: 

          If you would like to record the hole-by-hole yardages and pars on your scorecard prior to your arrival at the competition, you may refer to the tournament website for this
          information about your division, but it is not required. More information on the GSGA's Modified Scoring Procedure can be found here.

  • Players are encouraged to leave the flagstick in the hole at all times. However, prior to the start of the round, one player or caddie in each group should be designated by the group to be responsible for holding, attending, removing and/or replacing the flagstick on each hole as they move through the round. Whomever touches a flagstick during a round, they are encouraged to use sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer before and after touching a flagstick. The GSGA will make every effort to ensure there will not be any items (e.g., PVC, foam, etc.) placed in the bottom of holes so golf balls can come to rest in the bottom of the hole.

  • The GSGA will make every effort to have all bunker rakes removed from the golf course. In the event a bunker rake is present, DO NOT touch/use it. Players may lift, clean and place their ball within two club-lengths of where their original ball lied that is not nearer the hole and in the same bunker. Players may NOT smooth the sand before placing their ball, but are encouraged to smooth the sand with their shoe or club when exiting the bunker.

  • Bottled water may be available at limited locations on the golf course. Snacks and fruit will not be provided. The GSGA Hydration Awareness Plan for 2020 can be found here.

  • GSGA staff and volunteers will wear face masks when engaging with players and are unable to maintain social distancing.

  • Players should call or e-mail the GSGA Junior Tour office at (770) 850-9040 or juniortour@gsga.org with any questions and should refrain from physically visiting any onsite Tournament Headquarters. A phone number may be provided to players/spectators to call in the event rules assistance is needed.

After Your Round Is Complete

  • Players are asked to refrain from the traditional handshake or hug following the round.

  • When your round is complete, please proceed immediately to the scoring area, keep strict social distancing when in the scoring area and follow the instructions of the scoring official as the scoring process will have modified procedures in effect that could include, but is not limited to, video and/or audio verification processes.

  • Upon completion of the scoring process, players are encouraged to depart the golf course property (exceptions include potential playoff participants or event winners at multi-day competitions ONLY).

  • Practice facilities will NOT be available to players after your round.

  • For the rest of the year, traditional paper scoreboards have been eliminated to reduce areas of player and spectator congestion. In most instances, digital versions of a scoreboard will also be eliminated, and players must rely on their personal devices and the BlueGolf Junior Golf mobile application for competition scoring.

  • At this time, we will not conduct awards presentations for single-day competitions. All medals and awards will be shipped to your address on file as soon as possible following a competition. A competition leaderboard may be viewed on the BlueGolf Junior Golf mobile application.

  • A simplified version of a trophy presentation will take place at multi-day competitions with pictures and video of the winner only. Players should not congregate at this time. Added sanitization measures will take place to ensure the trophy is clean and safe for touching by the winner. Take home trophies, when applicable, will remain as originally boxed and distributed to those winners or will be mailed to the player shortly thereafter.  

Player Responsibilities

  • If within the last fourteen (14) days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, been in close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, have had a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, you must stay home and notify the GSGA to withdraw from an event.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, lips, and eyes.

  • Wash your hands frequently. If you are unable to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer (Note: We will be providing hand sanitizer to players at events). 

  • Please familiarize yourself and follow publicly available best practices as published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and state / local governments.

  • PLEASE BE PATIENT. Allow more time for things such as waiting your turn for use of practice facilities, starting and scoring procedures, awards distribution, etc.

  • Respect all direction and instruction provided by GSGA staff, volunteers and/or the host club regarding safety measures in place.

  • Respect your fellow players and understand everyone also has their own personal comfort level regarding safety practices. However, everyone must abide by the policies and procedures put in place by GSGA and the host club. Failure to abide by such policies and procedures may result in disqualification due to a Code of Conduct violation and result in suspension from future competitions. 

Join GSGA

The Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) is the governing body of golf in Georgia and serves as an Allied Golf Association to the United States Golf Association (USGA). Membership in the GSGA is open to all golfers, facilities and golf clubs throughout the state. Golfers that join the GSGA have access to invaluable resources that allow them to advance their knowledge of the game and numerous opportunities to play in both competitive and fun, casual events. By becoming a member of the GSGA, you will be joining a community that includes more than 350 clubs and 75,000 golfers who all have one thing in common: a passion for the game of golf.