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Tennis and golf rules eased under new health directive

You can play tennis and golf, if you follow rules to keep yourself and others safe and healthy.

A new health directive allows for tennis in outdoor courts, and golf in small groups.

Stay safe while playing

Everyone playing must:

  • Play outdoors
  • Avoid indoor facilities, including bathrooms if possible
  • Stay 6 feet apart
  • Avoid sharing equipment with people they don’t live with
  • Play casually (no competitions or group instruction allowed)
  • Bring their own drinking water, in case water fountains are closed
  • Bring their own hand sanitizer, in case the facility doesn’t have soap, hand sanitizer, or cleaning supplies available

You can rent equipment if the shop has curbside pickup and dropoff.

Play tennis while minimizing contact

You can only use outdoor courts for tennis. Avoid switching sides of the court. If you do switch sides, make sure you stay 6 feet from other players.

If you play at a private facility, you must make a reservation. Arrive on time (but no more than 10 minutes early) and leave after you’re done.

If other players don’t live with you, you can only play singles tennis. You can have more people on the court if they live with you. No spectators are allowed, unless the player is under 18.

Avoid sharing equipment (like tennis balls and rackets) with people you don’t live with. 

Mark your tennis balls for identification. Only handle your own tennis balls. Roll or bounce other players’ balls back to them, using your racket. Do not share cans of balls. You cannot use a tennis ball machine.

See other COVID-19 guidance from the USTA.

Play golf while physical distancing

You must schedule tee time at the golf course. Arrive on time (but no more than 30 minutes early) and leave after you’re done.

You can golf in groups of up to 4 people, if they don’t live with you. You can play golf with everyone you live with, even if it’s more than 4.

Only players should be on the course. No caddies or spectators are allowed, unless the player is under 18.

Avoid reaching into cups at golf holes. The facility may fill cups or turn them upside down so you can’t reach into them.

Do not share golf carts. You should ride by yourself, with your own bag.

See other COVID-19 guidance from the USGA

Official guidance

See what tennis and golf facilities need to reopen during the pandemic.