GAM News
GAM Statement on COVID-19
March 24, 2020
 

Update - March 27, 2020 - 6:45 a.m.

Posted to the 2020-21 Executive Order Q&A.

Q: Are golf courses allowed to stay open?

A: No. While EO 2020-21 contemplates outdoor activity, opening a golf course to the public does not fall under the designation of critical infrastructure. Consequently, a golf course may not designate employees as critical infrastructure employees and authorize them to come to work. 

 


Update - March 26, 2020 - 10:20 a.m.

Posted this morning to the 2020-21 Executive Order Q&A.

Q: Are golf course employees considered critical infrastructure workers for the purposes of Executive Order 2020-21?

A: No, golf course employees are not considered critical infrastructure workers. As needed, however, golf courses may designate workers to leave their home for work if their in-person presence is strictly necessary to conduct the minimum basic operations listed in section 4(b) of the order. Minimum basic operations do not include serving members of the public.

For specific questions regarding play, please contact your local law enforcement and liquor control commission for clarity as it applies to your specific operation until the Michigan Golf Alliance receives further clarification from the Office of the Governor.

Update - March 24, 2020 - 11:30 a.m.

Michigan Golf Alliance awaiting clarification from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s legal team.

The Michigan Golf Alliance has been in direct contact over the last 24 hours with the Governor’s Press Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to gain clarification on golf courses being open for play and the important maintenance needed in the spring. They have indicated that the Governor’s legal team is issuing clarifications for many industries during this public health crisis and golf will be addressed, but they are unable to provide a time frame for that clarification.

The Deputy Chief of Staff recommends that while awaiting clarification Michigan businesses seek the counsel of their personal legal representation, to interpret Executive Order 2020-21 as it relates to their business.

As soon as we get direct information from the Governor's office on this we will share across all Golf Alliance platforms immediately. This is the top priority for every member of the MGA and we are doing all we can to get answers as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Update - March 23, 2020 - 1:15 p.m.

The Michigan Golf Alliance is working to gain clarity from the Governor's office regarding play on courses and maintenance of courses as covered by Executive Order 2020-21 which is found here.

We will update members across Alliance platforms as details become clear.

The Michigan Golf Alliance is made up of the Michigan Golf Course Association, GAM, Michigan PGA, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Michigan Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, and the Greater Michigan Chapter, CMAA.

Update - March 20, 2020 - 6:05 p.m.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) released some guidance as it relates to the Rules of Golf and Rules of Handicapping given some of the precautions courses are taking in response to COVID-19. 

General Update

Guidelines

Update - March 17, 2020 - 5:05 p.m.

The Michigan Golf Alliance has received confirmation from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office that golf courses can remain open for the sole purpose of golf, but that indoor restaurant/bar facilities must close for the designated period through March 30.

A frequently asked question form released this afternoon by the Governor’s Office said: “Golf courses are allowed to stay open for play. Indoor facilities like clubhouses or restaurants must close for on-premises consumption but may continue to offer food and beverage through walk-up service and other means expressly permitted by the Executive Order.”

The golf associations that make up the Alliance asked for confirmation regarding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order 2020-09 from Monday. Initially it appeared to legal counsel that the order’s guidelines indicated all areas of golf clubs and courses were to be closed.

The Alliance members will continue to pass along information as it becomes available during this ever-changing health crisis. The FAQ form referenced can be found here: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98178_98455-521884--,00.html

The Governor’s executive order from 3/16 can be found  here: https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-521789--,00.html.

The Michigan Golf Alliance is made up of the Michigan Golf Course Association, GAM, Michigan PGA, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Michigan Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, and the Greater Michigan Chapter, CMAA.

UPDATE - March 17, 2020

Michigan Golf Alliance members are working to receive clarity to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order 2020-09 from Monday, with respect to the legality of golf courses continuing to be open.

The source from Governor Whitmer’s office cited in a Detroit News article on Monday indicates that golf courses may remain open for the sole purpose of golf. The indoor restaurant / bar facilities must close for the designated period through March 30 according to the guidelines of the executive order 2020-09.

The Michigan Golf Alliance has reached out to the Governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for a direct statement clarifying or confirming the above.

Once that statement is received, an official press release will be issued by the Michigan Golf Alliance. We as the Michigan Golf Alliance are committed to keeping our members informed and will do so as information becomes available. As we all know, these are unprecedented times and as a golf community we will work together in this ever-changing global public health crisis. 

The Governor’s executive order from 3/16 can be found here.

The Michigan Golf Alliance is made up of the Michigan Golf Course Association, GAM, Michigan PGA, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Michigan Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, and the Greater Michigan Chapter, CMAA.

UPDATE – March 16, 2020

Today Governor Whitmer placed temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation through an executive order which can be found here.

Golf courses and country clubs are referenced specifically.

Please direct questions to Chris Whitten, GAM Executive Director, at cwhitten@GAM.org.

UPDATE FROM 3/15/2020

The GAM continues to monitor updates and recommendations about Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 virus. The health and safety of GAM staff, members, club administrators, volunteers and the overall community is our primary focus at this time. Due to the recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services the GAM has canceled in-person education seminars and meetings through March 31, rescheduling as webinars. 

As we near the active season, the GAM will make scheduling decisions for future meetings and events as appropriate. Updates will be emailed to participants and posted to GAM.org and social media accounts.

Should you have any questions, please contact us at (248) 478-9242 or cwhitten@gam.org.

We hope that everyone will follow the advice of the CDC and our local health authorities to lessen the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

For information on World Handicap System training and the club authorization program contact GAM Director of Handicapping Kyle Wolfe at kwolfe@GAM.org