New Zealand Golf has continued to work with government on what a move to Alert Level 3 will mean for golf.

We are pleased to now confirm the limited playing of golf will be possible at Alert Level 3.

Alert Level 3 for Golf – Specific Operational Guidance
At Alert Level Three, limited playing of golf can be undertaken. Whether a golf course opens for play is entirely decision for each golf course to make.


Exercise and recreation is an important part of maintaining our health and wellbeing however we must continue to be aware the playing of golf presents a very high risk of transmission if we come into contact with others, use or touch common equipment or surfaces, or need rescuing or medical care.

The most important principle is to stay safe and to stay physically distant from people outside of your bubble. The health, safety and wellbeing of your staff, members, golf participants and the wider community is of paramount importance.

Golf can therefore be played at Alert Level 3 so long as it does not involve interacting with other people outside of your bubble.

If your decide to open your course for play, you must do so under the following operational guidelines:

1.              A COVID-19 safety plan must be in place, including risk controls for any staff that may be on site (see note                     below).

2.              Players must adhere to regional travel restrictions. Players can only travel within their region, and across a                    regional boundary if it is in their local area.

3.              All players must be registered to enable contract tracing if required (see New Zealand Golf’s earlier                                  guidance on contract tracing templates and our mobile app technology to support).

4.              Golf courses must be able to control access to the facility and advanced tee booking procedures must be in                      place (online, phone, text etc). This is to ensure there is no opportunity for players to congregate.

5.              Golfers must arrive ready to play and leave the facility immediately after play.

6.              Play is only possible for those playing alone or playing with others from within their bubble. Do not                                  arrange to meet anyone else to play.

7.              At risk players (such as those over 70) may need to take extra measures to protect themselves. The                                   Ministry of Health are developing further guidelines for at risk groups.

8.              All clubhouse, pro shop, changing room, toilets and any other facility at the golf course must be closed to                       players and visitors (only available to be accessed and used by essential staff on site).

9.              If retail, merchandise or takeaway food and beverages are to be provided, purchase and delivery must be                        completely contactless and observe 2 metre distancing. Players cannot enter premises.

10.          Scorecards cannot be physically issued prior to play nor returned after play. No scores will be accepted by                      the NZG handicapping system at Alert Level 3.

11.          An appropriate interval between tee times must be observed to ensure distancing between groups is                                 maintained. A 6 minute interval between solo players is recommended. An interval of 10 minutes between                      groups that have two of more players is recommended. Golf courses might like to consider specific times of                    each day for groups of different sizes.

12.          Players must maintain a minimum distance of at least two metres between themselves and other players on                  course who are not in their bubble.

13.          Shotgun or multiple tee starts should be avoided in order to stop the congregation of players.

14.          Driving ranges and other practice or warm up facilities must be set up to ensure minimum 2 metre                                  distancing between players. If driving ranges are used, appropriate ball and surface sterilising must take                         place.

15.          Equipment cannot be shared. If golf carts are to be used, they can only be used by people inside the same                        bubble. Golf carts and trundlers must be completely cleaned and sterilised after each use.

16.          All pins must be removed from practice putting greens.

17.          All pins / flagsticks are to be removed from the course and we suggest the hole is cut in the centre of the                          green. The cup should be slightly raised or placed upside down.

18.          All bunker rakes must be removed from the course.

19.          All drinking fountains, ball washers, shared sunscreen stations and on course toilets must be closed.

20.          Any staff who are on site should be provided with any appropriate personal protection equipment to ensure                  they can remain healthy and safe. No physical interaction between any essential staff and players can occur.

Note: We will continue to update this guidance over the weekend. For updates please visit:

Click here to read the official play, active recreation and sport guidance document from Sport NZ.


COVID-19 Safety Plan

As indicated above, at Alert Level 3, golf clubs that resume operations will need to have a basic safety plan in place that outlines how they will operate safely to manage risk and protect staff, golfers, suppliers and contractors. The Worksafe website has up to date information for organisations including a COVID-19 Safety Plan template and guidance around establishing a plan for your club.