The PGA Tour has announced the stringent restrictions they will put in place once golf returns from its three-month quarantine.
Golf looks set to return in a month at the Charles Schwab Challenge, from June 11-14 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The game will look slightly different upon its return. For instance, there will be no high-fives or handshakes after each hole. Players and caddies will adhere to social distancing on and off the course. Likewise, the caddies will clean the rakes and flagsticks.
“It will come down to, on the field of play, relying on players and caddies to have that social distancing requirement in the forefront of their minds,” said Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief tournament, and competitions officer.
The Tour released a document that outlined their rules and regulations for golfers and their caddies over a conference call.
“It’s really a layered approach that we’ve taken, and the heart of it is social distancing,” the TOUR’s Senior Vice President and Chief of Operations Tyler Dennis said on the call. The foundation of the approach is testing.
“Players and caddies will be expected to comply with medical questionnaires, thermal (temperature) readings, and RT-PCR nasal swabs. It will start before they travel to tournaments and continue when they arrive.”
Therefore, every player and caddie will undergo a test before they depart for the event.
The document and plan have been in the works for months. In fact, leading experts have provided input. PGA Tour medical adviser Dr. Tom Hospel and the Federal Coronavirus Task Force contributed to the document.
Senior Vice President of Tournament Administration Andy Levinson added, “Upon arrival, everyone will report to a testing area, likely at a designated hotel, where they will undergo all three screening methods: The questionnaire, thermal reading, and a PCR test. … Everybody who comes on‑site at our events will have to go through a questionnaire and thermal screening before entering the property, and participation is a condition of competition.”
“In the event, we have a positive test,” Levinson said, “we will comply with all local health authorities as well as CDC guidelines, and that would include isolating that individual and may require a period of isolation or an extended time.”
However, the Tour was clear that they have not set a tentative date for fans to return. Understandably this would have to be in accordance with the governments regulations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.