Hi MGA golfers. As we slowly and responsibly head back out to the golf course we all know and love I'm sure you may have some questions about keeping your handicap and posting acceptable scores. The SCGA has put out some really great information that answers many of the questions you may have. That info can be found here: https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules-hub/rulesarticles/covid-19-rules-and-handicapping-faqs.html
On top of this, our course may implement some local rules. It is my understanding that pins will not be put out for the safety of all golfers. Pin sheets with hole placements may be provided in the near future. Our beloved greens keeper Steven Garritson has been working hard to come up with solutions for the cups as well. Pool noodles might be a solution to the upside down cups that are currently being used. A cut noodle can be inserted into the cup so a ball can still fall but just a 1/4 inch or so making for a truer hole out while allowing the ball to be retrieved safely without reaching into a cup. Rakes have been removed from bunkers as well and as per the SCGA, there are two solutions here. A bunker can be played as ground under repair. The ball can be removed from the bunker and placed just outside of it with no penalty. Another option that is more true to the spirit of the game is to place the ball (no closer to the pin) to a spot in the bunker that has playable sand. Our course has chosen to go with the second option of placing your ball in a playable spot in the bunker, keeping handicaps truer. This shouldn't be an issue as Steven has told us they will be working on the bunkers to make them playable this week. However, if you do find that your ball is in a bad spot in the bunker please move your ball without penalty to a more playable spot no closer to the hole. After hitting your shot, please smooth the sand as best you can with your feet or clubs. Bringing your own rake is also an acceptable alternative.
While we are all learning and adjusting to our new normal, following some of these guidelines should allow us to post acceptable scores to maintain our handicaps. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I will answer as best I can.
I hope you all are well and to see you on the course sooner than later. Stay safe and remember to wash those hands and wear those masks to keep each other safe!
MGA Handicap Chair