Davao golf courses set to reopen
Dante Navarro (Philstar.com) - May 24, 2020 - 1:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — Golf down south is set to resume this week as Davao Mayor Sara Duterte purportedly allowed the three courses to reopen after ruling otherwise after the city was placed under general community quarantine last May 16.

But after being given assurance by officials of Apo, Rancho Palos Verdes and South Pacific on their compliance with the health and safety protocols, the city’s top official gave the go signal for the three clubs to resume operations starting Thursday (May 28).

The quaint Apo layout hosted the Philippine Open in 1995 and has been a regular stop of the local pro circuit, along with Rancho Palos Verdes and the newly-built South Pacific.

Part of the city measures to help curb the spread of the virus from interaction of players includes a one-caddie-per-flight set-up that will have the bag-toter act as spotter and tasked to repair divots and rake bunkers.

This came about as the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) amended its guidelines covering outdoor and non-contact sports and other forms of exercises in areas where restrictions were downgraded to GCQ from Enhanced CQ Saturday.

The latest directive removed age restrictions in golf, enabling below 21-years-old players and those in the 60-plus bracket to play provided they do not pose any health risks.

Under the previous IATF guideline, only those in the 21-59 age group could play on courses in their respective areas, prompting the golfing elders to protest over age discrimination.

Other non-contact sports allowed to resume operations in areas under GCQ are walking, jogging, running, biking, swimming, tennis, badminton, equestrian and skateboarding.

A number of golf clubs in Cavite and Batangas, including in GCQ areas in the Visayas, reopened last week following a two-month hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic with more expected to follow suit when the extended lockdown is lifted, except in those areas still placed in high-risk status, after May 31.

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