Committee members at Haydock Park Golf Club have introduced a novel idea that has allowed for the safe removal of the flagstick while still following Covid-secure protocols.
Stephen Nicholson, Business Manager of Haydock Park Golf Club, said: “One of the committee members asked about the potential to have the flagsticks removed in time for Captain’s Weekend, this being to help mitigate ‘bounce outs’ that have been occurring due the hole lifters we’d recently installed. We maintained that if we could do this in a safe and practical way then we’d consider. After contact with England Golf, it was deemed that we could indeed look to progress with a policy that enabled flagstick removal, so long as the risk was covered and mitigated as much as practicably possible.”
He added: “The committee signed off a move to create sanitiser stations next to each green, with a hook to allow the flagstick to be rested on whilst players took their shots and then replaced the flagstick after they had finished. We recommend that each group designate one member of the group to remove the flag if they feel this is appropriate and they should do so with a gloved hand. There is a bottle of hand sanitiser affixed to each station so players can cleanse their hands both prior to and after dealing with the flagstick.”
The move has been so well received that the club opted to carry on using the procedure and hand sanitiser stations after the Captain’s Weekend event and they have now been in successful operation at the club for a couple of weeks.
Nicholson added: “With restrictions easing, and the guidance relying very much on a common sensical approach, we decided that because the event a couple of weeks ago went so well we’d incorporate this into our daily course setup and give the player the opportunity to remove the flagstick if they so wish. However, those that continue to be wary during this time can still putt with the flagstick in and use the golf ball hole lifters as they have been doing.
“The creation and installation of these stations came at zero cost to the club as one of the committee members sourced all products, created and installed them for us. It’s exactly this kind of support that all golf clubs need from their members during this time and we have many volunteers and committee members that have given so much to the cause these last few months. They’re invaluable to the running of our club and we couldn’t do so without them.”
For more information on the flag removal procedure and sanitiser stations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01925 228525