PGA Tour Considers Plan to Restart

Posted by on May 13, 2020  /   Posted in golf reviews

With the aim of resuming the tournament game in Texas next month, the PGA Tour officials outlined Wednesday the safety procedures they plan to implement, including layers of coronavirus testing for players, caddies and support staff. The tour's plan would limit player movement during events, which will be held without live spectators, and encourage golfers to isolate themselves from the public outside the golf course.

Despite the stipulations laid down in a conference call with reporters, travel officials, who have not organized a tournament for two months, indicated that they were also willing to change course.

"To be clear, we are not going to play if we cannot do it in a safe and healthy environment for all our constituencies," said Tyler Dennis, senior vice president and operations chief of the tour.

The Charles Schwab Challenge, which begins on June 11 at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, is the first of four events on the revised schedule announced last month by the PGA Tour. Each of the events is played without spectators. The tour has brought players to tournaments, although he admitted there may not be enough room on those flights for an entire field.

The tour also said that there were approximately 25 players living outside the United States who would need to arrive at least two weeks before a tournament to comply with quarantine guidelines for people traveling from overseas. Andy Levinson, the tour's senior vice president of the tour, said the tour partnered with federal officials to facilitate the return of players and caddies who do not live in the United States and that he is "optimistic that it will."

All players, caddies and selected tournament staff and personnel – approximately 400 people – are tested before traveling for the corona virus. They are retested on arrival at a tournament. They will also be screened for fever and fill out a health questionnaire, likely in the hotels where the tour hopes to house the majority of players. During the week of the tournament, the temperature of those going to the site to work or volunteer to be measured will be asked to complete a health questionnaire.

A player who tests positive for the coronavirus will have to withdraw from the tournament and begin a period of isolation. Tour officials said they didn't have a certain number of positive test results in mind that would cancel a tournament, but they recognized it was an outcome that should be weighed.

Tour officials insisted that the coronavirus testing, which the tour pays for, would not compromise or compromise the host community's testing offer or medical supplies.

The plan of the tour, described in a 37-page memo, was distributed to hundreds of players, contributors and members of the media. It focused on how players on the court, practice strings, in interviews, and in locker rooms would practice with social distance.

Many features that are standard for a typical tournament will be missing next month, including family members of players, who are not allowed on the golf course. The traditional handshake between participants at the end of a round is not allowed, and the cozy score tent at the last green will likely be replaced by an outside table where players can stand and view their score cards.

Away From In the course, players are encouraged to sanitize their hands after each hole and are asked not to visit restaurants and bars except for takeout. While most players are expected to stay in approved tour hotels, they can rent private homes in the area or stay in RVs.

"We are excited about how the PGA Tour can play a role in returning the world to enjoy things we love," said Dennis Wednesday, "and to do it responsibly."

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