In order to move forward with a professional golf tournament during the pandemic, some changes will need to be made. On episode 9 of the On The Green Podcast, we spoke with Martin Stephenson, Tournament Director of The TOUR Championship to hear how he and his team handled planning for the season ending event during the current climate. Martin, who has been working at the Tour Championship for 10 years, gave great advice for operating a tournament safely and smoothly. Here are a few things he recommends to do!
1. Make sure everyone involved in the tournament follows testing protocols.
Everyone involved in the Tour Championship had to get a negative test result before stepping foot on the tournament grounds. This included players, volunteers, tournament staff, clubhouse workers, television personnel and other crew. When planning a tournament during the pandemic, safety is the top priority. Players, crew and volunteers could all relax knowing they were part of a COVID negative group.
2. Host your event without fans on site.
Because of COVID concerns the PGA TOUR made the tough decision to move forward with the season without allowing fans at tournaments. It’s easy for golfers and crew to follow social distancing guidelines, but there’s not as much control when it comes to the fans. Martin and his team decided it was better to be safe than sorry, and this just means that in the future when fans can be on site, they’ll be even more excited to get back to the tournament.
3. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves.
In the podcast episode, Martin mentions that because the Tour Championship had less volunteers this year, everyone involved had to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Whether it was lugging boxes, moving podiums or making sure the players had water, everyone involved had to step in to make sure the tournament ran smoothly.
The Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club hosted their event during the pandemic with no issues, and so can you! Listen to the full episode of the podcast to hear more about how they did it. If you need assistance planning, rescheduling or rearranging your golf tournament due to the pandemic, let us know how On The Green Consulting can help.