Okay, golfers! We need to discuss the elephant in the room: COVID 19 – specifically how it’s affecting both professional and amateur golf. On the podcast, I talk in great depth with one of our guests, Michael Tothe who is the tournament director at the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first event of the PGA TOUR restart. Here’s a taste of what we go over in our first episode, which you can listen to above!
The way we view spectator sports will forever change
The way we view sports is more than likely going to change forever, not just in golf. To keep everyone healthy and safe, expect to see added security, staff and athlete testing, social distancing practices, and stricter logistics. At golf tournaments it’ll certainly look really strange with no bleachers or tents on the course. For the time being, I think tournaments will look more similar to what we saw at the fundraising matches played at Seminole and Medalist and equally as quiet.
If we all do our part, exercise caution and put respect for others first, I believe spectators can soon return to tournaments, but I don’t think the extra precautions are going away any time soon.
Tournament staffing could look a lot different
As golf tournaments and games begin to pick back up a bit, expect to see some changes when it comes to event staffing. It takes hundreds of people to bring a professional golf tournament to fruition: tent and skybox vendors, electricians, portable restroom companies, clubhouse workers, concession vendors and so many others. Workers and volunteers for all aspects of the tournament will need to practice social distancing, wear face masks, and take extra sanitation precautions every step of the way.
Not only that, but also think about parking and shuttles to the events. Usually, attendees park their cars and get to the course by motor coaches, buses or vans that carry 30-90 people at a time. I assume it will require everyone to submit to having their temperatures taken, possible face mask requirements, limited capacities and more. Staffers will need to work harder than ever to not only make sure the tournaments run smoothly, but to also ensure the health and safety of spectators and volunteers.
Sponsorships sales may be affected
Tournaments rely on sponsorship sales to finance the events and pay for things like tents, skyboxes, pro-am spots, port-o-let’s and other infrastructure. Charity is in the PGA TOUR’s DNA. As an organization, they’ve donated almost $3 billion to a variety of charities, which is accomplished by selling sponsorships.
Will sponsorship sales be affected? I don’t know the answer to that yet, but when it comes to helping charities in need, we think organizations will step up to the plate and do their part. This will certainly be interesting to see unfold as we move forward. Things are going to change, and whether those changes are good or bad, we’ll have to put the good of all above ourselves.
None of this means that tournaments won’t happen or they won’t be great, it just means that things will certainly be different. Listen to our full podcast above to hear more about the topic from me, Tim Iley, and one of our very special guests, Michael Tothe from the Charles Schwab Challenge.