IGF COVID-19 Information
The IGF categorises golf as a lower risk sport in terms of risk of transmission of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lower risk sports are sports where physical distancing is possible.
Outdoor events are also better ventilated than indoor events and WHO states that it may be easier to ensure physical distancing advice is followed in outdoor events with non-designated seating, such as golf.
According to IGF Medical Commission members, there are considerable health benefits to golf that would outweigh the risk of COVID-19, if golf is played in a reasonable manner.
WHO has published a number of COVID-19 related tools and documents for sports event organisers, such as:
- WHO risk assessment and control measures for events (with instructions, risk assessment to obtain the event’s ‘COVID-19 Risk Score’, risk mitigation checklist for the ‘Mitigation Score’ and the ‘Overall Risk Score’)
- WHO decision tree to improve an event’s ‘Overall Risk Score’
When organising an event, it is recommended to conduct a risk assessment using the most up-to-date WHO guidance and tools during the event planning stage in collaboration with relevant local health authorities.
Some examples of what has already been put in place in golf:
- Back2Golf Guidelines for Opening Up Golf in the US by the Allied Golf Organizations (PGA Tour, PGA of America, USGA – United States Golf Association, National Golf Course Owners Association, GCSAA – Golf Course Superintendants Association of America and Club Management Association of America)
- Guidance by the R&A on community golf in the UK: ‘Golf in the UK under COVID-19 restrictions’
- Guidance on minimum maintenance for golf courses during COVID-19 outbreak by the USGA and GCSAA
British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) infographic on graduated return to play guidance following COVID-19 infection
From February 2020 to April 2020, the IGF provided regular updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) to the IGF Board, relevant Commissions, IGF International Technical Officials (ITOs) and IGF Olympic staff based on information received by the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and other key Olympic stakeholders. To access the IGF’s summary on the coronavirus, click here.