Where golf lands on medical associations' new activity risk guide

Putting with the flags in is a 2020 staple of golf. Some cups are more forgiving than others.

Just how safe is golf? That's been a question in 2020 that both those golf facility operators and government officials have grappled with in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Golf was banned in 15 states at one point this spring. While only 2.4% of U.S. golf courses remain closed according to GolfNow, case counts are rising in new states such as Texas, Arizona and Florida - all big golf hotbeds. The City of Austin is addressing their current spike in hospitalizations by banning the use of all parks and pools indefinitely - and that includes their six municipal golf courses.

The Texas Medical Association is the latest organization to release a chart detailing how risky various activities can be. Much like a recent article from MLive which paneled several doctors on various activities, golf fares quite well according to TMA, rating a '3' in risk out of a max risk score of 10. Playing golf is deemed by the association to be as safe as grocery shopping or going for a walk or bike ride with others.

Going to be a beach, as many Americans did, is considered a '5' on the risk. Other travel items are also considered riskier than golf according to TMA, including traveling by plane (7) and staying at a hotel for two nights (4).

Tennis, much like MLive's recent article, fares slightly better than golf with a score of '2', despite the fact tennis players do share a ball when playing. With the news this week of the PGA Tour deciding to not permit spectators at the upcoming Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, it's worth noting that the riskiest activities according to TMA involve large crowds.

You can view the full chart below or check out their article for more details.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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Attending a Protest doesn’t seem to be listed.....why is that?????

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The list is absurd. This illness is droplet spread, contracted by close contact for sustained periods in a poorly ventilated environment. I just returned from SC where there was no drinking water on the course. Absurd. As for the TMA, they’re off the wall too. I’m a Texas physician and wouldn’t give them a nickel to represent me. When I go in a hospital I wear an N95 mask because actual data show it’s protective. Regular masks have not been shown to be such with the prior SARS virus or MERS. It’s not a “what seems right to me” disease. We have limited facts, but what we do have suggests golf with others is as safe as walking your dog in the woods by yourself. Enjoy golf and save politically motivated pseudo science for network TV.

Commented on

Keeping separate carts is a very good thing...also when everyone ‘parks’ next to the tee, don’t speak until all are on the tee at least 6 feet apart. (If you have to talk while closer than 6 feet next to one of your partners, wear a mask!)
Bring sanitizer in the cart with you. Use it!
Please try to remember some of the basic laws of physics...i. e., you are always safer outside where an almost inexhaustible amount of air and air currents continually replaces the air immediately around you!

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I'm not sure I agree that visiting an elderly friend or relative is as risky as swimming in a public pool or working a week in a public building. My experience both as an older person and with my older friends is that we are for the most part very careful about our connections with others. I believe such visits are more accurately characterized as low to moderate, a 3 or 4! As far as golf goes, I think a lot depends on the course where you play. Many are very conscientious about providing an environment that makes it easy to keep your distances and avoid making contact with things that can be potentially infecting, others not so much!

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Left out "Attending a street protest"

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Looks like propaganda to me.

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Don’t listen to the blithering idiots and morons who see propaganda everywhere.Thanks for posting.

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Where golf lands on medical associations' new activity risk guide