PGA Jr. League 2021 Program Guidelines
Updated January 6, 2021
This document is supplemental to the Back2Golf Youth Activities Addendum and was created in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Organized junior golf programming is not permissible in Phase 1 unless authorized by state and local health authorities, so this document provides additional options for running PGA Jr. League activities in Phase 2. These guidelines underwent review from medical advisors and the CDC with the intent of resuming the program in the most responsible manner possible.
- Reference the Back2Golf Operations Playbook and implement all procedures described in Phase ll of the Back2Golf Operations Playbook.
- All organizations, facilities, and staff shall follow the guidelines of their state and local health authorities.
- All organizations, facilities, and staff shall follow sanitation and social distancing guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.
- It is important to be aware of all limitations to gathering sizes and ensure that all protocols in place limit the opportunity for group gatherings as much as possible.
- These modifications and guidelines do not apply to the PGA Jr. League Championship All-Star season eligibility requirements, found in the 2021 Conditions of Play. Specific addendums may be released if necessary.
- Captains are encouraged to host a pre-season video conference meeting with players and parents/guardians to review the policies, roles, and responsibilities in this document.
- State and local health authorities often include guidelines on the use of cloth facial coverings. Please follow them. If there are no local guidelines, participants, parents, guests and staff are encouraged to consider wearing cloth facial coverings during instruction, check-in, and pick up. On-course play may not require a facial covering. You can purchase PGA Jr. League branded facial coverings here.
- Appropriate and visible signage should be placed around your facility to encourage knowledge of the guidelines. Click here to download the PGA Jr. League Physical Distancing poster.
- Handshakes, high-fives and other physical contact should be avoided at all times, including during introductions, encouragement and departures.
- Click here for creative ideas for “Non-Handshake Handshakes” for PGA Jr. League.
- In an effort to create the healthiest environment possible and provide the most flexibility, there will be no limitations to how a league or team is composed.
- There is no player requirement for a league to be facilitated as “in-house.”
- It is strongly recommended that facilities structure their program as “in-house” regardless of the number of players.
- There is no specific requirement for the number of players that make up a team (i.e.: teams of 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 are acceptable).
- Kids typically in the 13u and 17u age divisions may be combined into one team and/or league if preferred.
- There is no requirement for teams to play in the match play format. Leagues who would prefer to operate under the aggregate stroke play model are encouraged to do so.
- For more information about the importance of internalized programming, click here.
- One Parent/Guardian is strongly encouraged to stay on-site for the duration of programming to assist with any health and/or inclement weather situations.
- If activities are occurring around practice facilities, parents/guardians are encouraged to observe from their vehicle.
- If activities are occurring on the golf course, one parent/guardian is recommended to spectate either via a single-rider golf cart (sanitized and cleaned prior to use if available) or walking along at a safe distance.
- Captains are encouraged to implement a spectator policy and distribute it to all parents/guardians.
- Spectators should maintain 6 feet of distance from one another at all times. They may leave the cart path in order to avoid close contact with another person.
- At no time should players or opponents share or touch one another’s equipment. This includes but is not limited to - Ball markers, Pushcarts, Golf balls, Clubs, Tees, Towels, Apparel, Rangefinders.
- Players or their parents/guardians should transport their own golf clubs throughout the program (from their vehicle to when they return them to their vehicle).
- Captains should refrain from touching player’s equipment as much as possible. In cases where not avoidable, a supply of disinfectant wipes should be made available.
- Substitutes are not recommended, if possible, to keep group sizes as small as possible.
- With the removal of substitutes, each 2-player pair should designate one person as the team lead. The team lead will be responsible for keeping the scorecard and ensuring that the players are abiding by the appropriate social distancing and equipment sharing rules.
- The Captain and facility should determine guidelines around spectator carts and transportation.
- A spectator with a golf cart should only be allowed to transport the player (and his/her equipment) that he/she is associated with (ie: a family member).
- At no time should a golf cart exceed more than two individuals, including the driver, or more than one golf bag unless it is a family member’s.
- If a facility has a 6-seater shuttle cart or larger, that shuttle cart should not exceed more than 3 individuals, including the driver, or more than two golf bags. Facial coverings should be worn during this time.
- If threatening weather conditions are known prior to the start of a game, consider postponing or cancelling.
- Prepare an inclement weather plan well in advance of any games or practices. Share it with all spectators and players via email, video conference, and/or in person.
- Consider who will be permitted to transport players and make sure those designations are well understood by all.
- Monitor the weather by utilizing phone applications to track lightning activity.
- Designate areas of the clubhouse for different smaller groups of players and spectators to shelter versus having one large congregation room.
- Encourage all players/spectators/staff to shelter in their own vehicles, if available.
- If you have to stop your practice or game due to inclement weather, the game should not resume that day. Instead, submit scores as is, reschedule, or cancel the game all together.
Selecting the Team’s Ball In Play:
The following rule adjustments should be made to limit the touching of equipment and maintain distance between partners.
- Once a team has selected their ball in play, there is no requirement to mark it before it is lifted. A player may still lift and clean the ball, but may estimate a nearby spot when it is to be replaced.
- Measuring One Club-Length or Clubhead-Length
- There is no requirement for a partner to place their ball within a club-length, or clubhead-length on the putting green, once a team has selected their ball in play. The players may use reasonable judgement to determine a spot within approximately 6 feet of the original ball’s spot. Players should place the ball within the same area of the course as the original ball, and it must be no closer to the hole.
Concession of Putts:
Leagues should consider following the automatic “two-putt” rule. If a team’s first attempt at a putt was not made, they should pick up the next putt and move on.
At no time should groups of players or spectators be congregated around an area of the golf course. This is especially important when it comes to the end of a match. Coaches should implement responsible practices for the completion of matches, such as:
- Ask players to read off their scorecards to the Coach or submit a picture of it instead of collecting the physical scorecard.
- Ask players and spectators to not congregate at the final green and disperse to their cars or other areas of the property.
Recognizing that PGA Jr. League is a game that brings families and friends together, it will be crucial to maintain the community feeling while social distancing. The end-of-game experience can be a time where people come together and celebrate teamwork and togetherness. Consider the following best practices to maintain a fun experience:
- Conduct online interviews with team members and post on your team page for others to see following the round.
- Upload pictures of scorecards and other candid photos following the game.
- Engage with your team via social media and other outlets after the game as an opportunity to “come together” since it cannot be done in person.
- Set up a virtual communication opportunity for the team to get together for post-game camaraderie.
Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick
If someone associated with the program becomes sick, Captains, Coaches, and parents are expected to follow the reporting guidelines outlined by the CDC. Captains and Coaches will be the point of contact for parents to communicate when a person tests positive for COVID-19 or was exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Captains and Coaches are expected to inform all relevant health officials and close contacts as contemplated by the CDC recommendations and their state and local health authorities.