June 16, when California truly opens its doors is fast approaching. The world is a lot more different from a year ago, and after living through the COVID-19 Pandemic life essentially marches on.
Father’s Day, the July 4th Holiday are on the horizon. That means family gatherings, outings and one of these activities hopefully include a round of golf or three. So what do you do in a “post” COVID-19 world? It’s the million dollar question and everyone has their opinion.
Meanwhile our Public Health Agencies and political figureheads are divided. Who do we listen to? Who do we follow when everyone plays the Doctor and Politician? What we know so far is this. Golf is a sport that uses equipment (namely flag poles, ball washers, golf clubs, golf balls and the like.) That means transmission is possible albeit miniscule. As one health department put it, anything is possible even being vaccinated you still run the risk of catching Covid-19.
We have four tips for you to consider the next time you’re out on the golf course.
As a simple google search reported, “As an outdoor sport [golf], where physical distancing is possible, risk of transmission may be low, if appropriate measures are followed. However, there is currently no published evidence regarding the rate of COVID-19 transmission when playing golf.” (April 8, 2021)
The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) website states, “Methods of transmission of COVID-19 are mainly human-to-human spread via droplets, aerosol, fomites or direct contact. It has since been recognized that outdoor environments have lower transmission risk than indoor and non-pharmaceutical interventions including social distancing/hand hygiene are effective in lowering transmission.”
They further describe their analysis of the professional golf tours results:
“Golf is an equipment-based sports and there may be concerns regarding the risk of transmission via fomites on equipment. However, Edwards et al51 showed that only 0.74% of COVID-19 virus was recoverable at 1 min in high inoculum when applied to a variety of sporting equipment (including a golf ball). Unpublished data from 32 professional golf events on the European Tour, Ladies European Tour and Challenge Tour which regularly tested participants found no transmission from golfer to golfer in outdoor environments. Although community golfers and golf clubs may not have the resources available to organizations such as the European Tour, much of the success of suppressing COVID-19 transmission is likely associated with the strict compliance with simple measures which have previously been shown to be effective such as social distancing, wearing masks, reducing time indoors and good hand hygiene.”
The TAKE-AWAY: 4 Things to Remember
Now barring any sort of official word one can glean a few bits of sound advice.
- Cover your face (use a facemask) in common areas with heavy foot traffic.
- Refrain from touching your nose and face.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often.
- Keep your distance from other individuals.
It’s that simple. Or is it? I think the biggest thing these four points imply is one must also have the presence of mind in order to continue to follow these measures on and off the golf course. One should also note that being vaccinated does not mean you cannot catch COVID-19. It simply means your chances of surviving that virus is improved. You can catch it again if you are careless about your vigilance.
The biggest points you should take away from this article is that although the worst appears behind us, being vigilant; having that presence of mind to continue safe practices will afford you better safety in the future being vaccinated or not.
Play Smart. Play Safe and enjoy your round of golf.
Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion piece and does not represent the viewpoints of GreensKeeper.org or its affiliates and employees. Please play responsibly.