By Waylon Galvez
Members of the national golf team resumed training following the reopening of different courses in the country, National Golf Association of the Philippine (NGAP) secretary-general Bones Floro said Tuesday.
“Well most of them were able to play yesterday (Monday),” said Floro when contacted by Manila Bulletin. “So members of the national team, the training pool, they played in different courses.”
Golf was among the sports approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) for resumption as it is classified as non-contact activities under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Floro said that it was through the initiatives of the NGAP– under its president Martin Lorenzo – that allowed golf to resume this month under the GCQ instead of September.
The association, according to Floro, had an online meeting with the IATF as they discussed health protocols. After several meetings and appeals, including the age requirement allowing 20 and under players and 60 and above, the IATF gave its approval.
“It’s not in the mandate of the NGAP, but as the golf association in the country, we took the initiatives. Our president Martin Lorenzo asked me to reach out to people (in the government) to discuss the possibility,” said Floro.
“That’s why we’re very thankful to the IATF, first for just talking to us with all the things happening, they entertained the NGAP. Then for eventually approving golf to resume.”
Under the approved guidelines, one of the health protocols issued to different courses is the ‘social distancing’ between the player and caddie, who under normal circumstances not just carrying the golf bag but handing out each club needed every hole.
Floro said that that couldn’t be done under the “new normal”.
“Caddie can’t touch the clubs of the players, they’ll be there to take care of the divots, sand traps, look or find balls after shot. That’s what they’ll do, which for me is temporary until we’re back (to normalcy,” he said.
With golf back, Floro said that they are also looking at resuming a few cancelled tournaments in the NGAP. However, for international meets, they were told that all events are postponed until further notice