We are excited for the 2020 High School National Invitational to take place at Pinehurst August 3-5th. In preparation for the event, we felt it would be important to explain how the event will be operated given the unique nature of 2020. Below you will find the Operational Guidelines along with on-site operations. The NHSGA team is looking forward to a great event and we are here to help you prepare and answer any questions.
2020 High School Golf National Invitational Event Plan
We are working with Pinehurst on a daily basis to determine the best procedures to follow all required guidelines. The Pinehurst Reopening page outlines their operational practices, protocols, and recommendations for the full resort.
The National Invitational will be following Back2Golf, North Carolina state, and Moore County local guidelines. Players, parents, and spectators should consult their state and local guidelines as well as the RDU Airport guidelines for those flying to Raleigh.
Operational Guidelines with Covid-19 Considerations
- NHSGA Staff and volunteers (reduced from normal quantity) will be wearing mandated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and will practice social distancing
- PPE will be provided to all participants (hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks). It is encouraged that players bring additional PPE
- Social distancing will be a priority for everything done on-site. Gatherings will not be permitted. Social Distance signage from Back2Golf will be prominently displayed
- Players are asked to use masks/coverings when they are unable to socially distance including when they are using the practice facilities
- Practice rounds will be conducted similar to tee times at a local course. Sanitized carts are optional for players – Players may only share carts if paired with someone in the same household. Players will receive their own carts if not paired with someone in their household
- Registration will be conducted on a rolling basis with no gatherings. Markings on the ground will help socially distance anyone who is waiting to complete their registration.
- All registration gifts (golf balls, towel, hat) will be sanitized by NHSGA staff and gift bags will be handed out by a staff member wearing proper PPE
- Competition rounds are scheduled as double tees in the mornings and afternoons with 10 or 11 minute intervals between tee times
- Temperature screenings will be taken prior to each competition round. Players must record a 100.4 degree temperature or lower to be able to compete that day. If players subsequently screen under the required temperature on the same day they will be permitted to compete in a different pairing or with a marker
- The event will be paperless with the exception of scorecards. Each player will receive a scorecard of another player in the group and scores will be verbally attested adhering to USGA guidelines. Verbal score verification will take place outside with players standing 6 feet apart from one another in designated standing areas. All rules sheets and other documents will be sent to players electronically prior to tee off.
- Players will be receiving lunch vouchers instead of prepared food. The pre-tournament registration buffet dinner has been cancelled and all players will receive gift cards to use on F&B at the resort
- Bunkers will be played without rakes. Players may lift and clean the ball, smooth the sand, and place the ball within one scorecard no closer to the hole without penalty
- Flagsticks must be left in the hole at all times. Removing the flag the first time constitutes a warning. A two shot penalty will be given for each subsequent offense
- Scoring will be conducted socially distanced with no physical scoreboard
- Spectators must adhere to all social distancing guidelines
- Spectators should not arrive at the course until their player’s tee time.
- Spectators must not congregate before or after their player’s round.
- Spectators are not permitted in any practice areas.
The NHSGA will not tolerate players or spectators who do not adhere to guidelines put in place. We reserve the right to penalize and/or disqualify players who knowingly, willingly and or repeatedly disregard our policies to promote social distance. Players are also responsible for the actions of their family members or spectators
The NHSGA staff asks that you take the following precautions:
- Please avoid handshakes or physical contact of any kind
- Wash hands and use sanitizer frequently
- Stay outside as much as possible
- Refrain from touching your face, eyes, nose, lips or mouth
- Please monitor CDC guidelines for best practices
- Please do your best to act in a healthy and responsible manner
- If you feel sick please stay home and report any illness to our staff on-site immediately
- In the past 14 days if you tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 contact the NHSGA staff at email@example.com or 617-396-7021
- If you “test positive” for the COVID-19 virus at any point within 14 days of being at the golf course please contact the NHSGA staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-396-7021
Pinehurst Daily Guidelines
Daily Check-in and Pre-Round
- Players are asked to arrive no earlier than 60 minutes prior to their tee time
- Upon arrival players must proceed directly to green NHSGA tent for a temperature screening
- Players are asked to be at their starting hole 15 minutes prior to their tee time
- The starter will hand each player in the group another player’s scorecard. Scorecards should not be exchanged. Each player should also record their unofficial score on the card to reference post-round
- Players are encouraged to use masks on the practice range and putting green and follow Pinehurst’s socially distance regulations
During the Round
- Rules sheets, hole locations, and pace of play policy will be provided electronically
- Live scoring will not be conducted in 2020
- Players are encouraged to bring their own snacks and water for the course. However, water will be available for players at Pinehurst water stations (sanitized by Pinehurst daily). Optional bottled water will be distributed at the NHSGA tent at registration
- Push carts are permitted – players may bring their own or rent on a first come first serve basis from the clubhouse
- Players are asked not to use ball washers or other shared items not removed from the course
- Bathrooms on the course will be open and cleaned throughout the day. Players should wash their hands after using the bathroom and use hand sanitizer if they touch the door
After the Round
- After scoring is complete, no gatherings will be allowed in clubhouse or any other common area
- Scoring will be done near the 18th green of each course. There will be a table set up for scoring staff. There will not be any chairs and players will review scores socially distanced
- Players will verbally confirm scores with their marker and then visually inspect the hole-by-hole score to confirm accuracy. Once scores are confirmed, there will be a bin to deposit the scorecard
- Results will be posted online only and there will be no physical scoreboards.
- Once scoring is complete, players will be encouraged to leave the course and limit any post-round practice. Practice facilities close each day at 5:00pm
- After the final round awards will be provided in a socially distanced manner for the top 10 girls and boys along with the top 3 teams in each event
Severe Weather and Evacuation Plan
- In the event play must be stopped for a short delay, players will be notified to follow the provided evacuation plan/map to the designated shelter area. In the event of a longer suspension of play, players will be asked to proceed back to the their cars or socially distance in the clubhouse
- Emails will be sent out when it is safe to return to the golf course
- Due to social distancing guidelines and likely time constraints, practice may not be allowed before the resumption of play
- In the event of a shotgun start has to be used to complete a stipulated round, rendezvous points will be utilized to get players out and in from starting holes. Most players will walk back but sanitized carts will be used to transport players at further points from the clubhouse. Shotgun staging will follow strict social distancing
Competitor Travel Guidelines
- To protect yourself and others during your trip, you should clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Avoid close contact with others (Keep at least 6 feet of physical distance from others).
- Avoiding close contact is especially important if you are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19
- Wear a cloth face covering in public
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores. Do not dine in restaurants if that is prohibited by state or local guidance
- Consider traveling with a protective face covering, alcohol-based sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, tissues and a personal thermometer