Best Practices

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updated May 15, 2020


The following are some recommended best practices to choose from. You are encouraged to check with your provincial health authority to ensure you are always following the latest guidelines as things continue to change on a frequent basis. 


ALBERTA | Guidance Document for Golf Operators

SASKATCHEWAN | Re-open Saskatchewan Plan [reference page 37 for golf specific protocols]

MANITOBA | Restoring Safe Services Plan [reference page 27 for golf specific protocols]

ONTARIOGuidance on Health and Safety for the Golf Course Sector during COVID-19 | May 14

QUEBEC | Protocols for the Opening of Golf Courses 

NEW BRUNSWICK | General Public Health Guidelines & Guidelines for New Brunswick Workplaces

NOVA SCOTIA | Best Practices for Golf

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND | Golf Specific Guidlines

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR | Guidance for Golf Courses under the NL Life with COVID-19


Food & Beverage | Restaurant

  • Use ‘call-ahead, take-out’ or to-go service.
  • Consider designating a 'no-contact' pick up spout outside your restaurant's main doors.
  • Consider ‘tap’ credit and debit card payments to reduce hand-to-hand contact.
  • If you do accept cash, ensure that all staff wear protective gloves
  • Ensure beverage carts are cleaned and sanitized before reuse; sanitize all touch-points of both employee and customer.



  • Based on your provincial and federal government recommendations and orders, communicate with members and the public on the actions you are taking; reminding them that you will strictly adhere to guidelines established by local, provincial and federal governments. Click here for the NGCOA Canada template that you can download and edit to meet your needs.
  • Place appropriate signage outside the pro-shop and clubhouse entries briefly outlining the social distancing guidelines in place.
  • Promote physical distancing by marking the ground to indicate where it is safe to stand.
  • Provide clear professional signage informing guests of operational changes and encourage recommended sanitation practices.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning, sanitation and disinfecting of all locations, especially high traffic areas such as counter surfaces, tables, public restrooms, door handles, golf carts, flagpoles, and more.
  • Educate staff on hygiene, sanitation and food handling, and its impact of preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
  • Increase the number of hand sanitizer stations throughout the clubhouse, especially entry points and lobby.
  • Regularly sanitize equipment and provide customers with reminder signage and supplies necessary for post-use cleaning. 
  • Increase the frequency of HVAC system filter changing, and recommend more frequent cleaning.
  • Close locker rooms and allow changing of footwear in parking lots.


Golf Operations

  • Consider accepting only online or call ahead pre-paid green fees. Eliminate any walk-ups or cash payments. Update your website to indicate this.
  • If accepting green fees at the pros shop, consider ‘tap’ credit and debit card payments to reduce hand-to-hand contact.
  • Consider a process to allow booking extras with online tee-time bookings allowing for prepayment of range baskets, etc. which can be prepared ahead of time and placed in a designated area for pick-up limiting social interaction.
  • Consider providing designated tee-times for two-some requests such as evening tee-time slots.
  • Consider removing all merchandise items, normally smaller accessories, from your counter and place them out of reach of any customers that may be inside.
  • Consider having a greeter outside the front door of the pro shop – if tee-time is pre-paid then golfer is directed to 1st tee by the greeter, if not one person at a time allowed into building to pay.
  • Restrict the number of people inside the pro shop at any given time.
  • Consider increasing tee-time intervals to further increase the social distancing protocols.
  • Limit the amount of time a golfer may arrive at the course prior to their tee-time – suggested 15 minutes prior
  • Consider having a player’s assistant/marshal tour the golf course to make sure players are practicing physical distancing
  • Eliminate club rentals.
  • Eliminate push-cart rentals.
  • Encourage golfers to walk.
  • Consider the elimination of golf carts for golfers
  • Encourage golfers and staff to refrain from handshakes or any other contact.
  • Remove bulk scorecard, pencil, and tee holders from starter areas. Only issue when requested.
  • Remove ball washers or tape them shut.
  • Remove or disconnect water fountains or coolers; consider offering bottled water only.
  • Remove all garbage stations and ask golfers to take their garbage with them after their round.
  • Temporarily remove bunker rakes.
  • Direct players to leave the pin in the cup at all times, consider raising the cup 1" above the putting surface, inserting the cup upside down, or creating a gimme circle around each hole location to reduce surface contamination.
  • Close every-other driving range bay to increase social distancing.
  • Bring range ball baskets into the pro shop to wipe down handles and provide sanitizer next to ball dispensers so people can wipe the handles down themselves along with signage to help people remember to do it.
  • Consider adding a hand washing station at the driving range with reminder signage.
  • Ensure range balls are cleaned thoroughly with soap after every pick up prior to making available for customers.
  • Remove all non-essential devices from the range, such as bag stands or den caddies. Place balls on the range for your customers so they can be accessed using a club.
  • Close putting green  or place alignment sticks, or stakes on the putting green as targets, and/or turn the cups upside down and leave in the hole. Remove all flags and institute a “bring your own practice balls policy.”
  • Designate one on-course washroom to remain open and allow only one person in at a time
  • Install hand-washing station outside washroom and require hand washing before entering and after leaving | alternative is hand sanitizer station outside washroom
  • Clean and sanitize washroom every hour | post signage to notify golfers of sanitation procedures and designated times


Workplace Safety

  • Educate staff to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 in each other and your customers.
  • Establish a communication plan to keep your employees informed and updated on issues affecting the workplace.
  • Institute a policy that requires employees to tell you when they’ve been exposed to any highly communicable illness, and then direct them to the local health agency for appropriate testing. 
  • Conduct meetings by phone or online wherever possible. For in-person meetings, ensure safe social distancing (6+ feet) between attendees.
  • Create a COVID-19 committee for your facility.
  • Ensure appropriate signage is present throughout your facility.
  • Provide necessary sanitation supplies and personal protection equipment.
  • Ensure hand washing signage is present at all wash stations.
  • Provide hand sanitizer stations for both staff and guests in multiple locations throughout the facility, including golf carts.


Turf & Maintenance 

  • Minimize the number of maintenance staff members working on the course at one time.
  • Maintain physical distancing guidelines at all times
  • Assign staff equipment to avoid sharing between employees
  • Stagger work hours and break hours
  • Place hand sanitizer throughout maintenance area
  • Regularly sanitize any surface that is contacted
  • In the event that equipment must be shared it must be thoroughly sanitized before being used by another employee | steering wheel as well as all areas touched by operators pre and post use as well as radios
  • Provide surgical grade gloves and PPE to maintenance teams at above normal inventories
  • In the case of uniforms, requirement that they be laundered prior to each shift
  • All personal belongings to be removed from maintenance buildings | only access for use of staff washrooms with contact points in an out being sanitized during each use
  • Team members sit outside or in their vehicles during lunch and/or breaks | All other buildings, rooms and offices are off-limits 
  • Wipe down and disinfect any tools and equipment at the start of each shift
  • Wipe down and disinfect washing and fueling station before and after each use
  • Use existing inventory before ordering and taking delivery of additional products and limit deliveries to when salary employees are onsite
  • Recommend that all deliveries be wrapped, and weather protected to sit outside for 4 days
  • Practice handwashing and standard hygiene practices 



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