Like sports the world over, golf has been on lockdown since 11 March with competitions on hold and players at home. But as we start to ease out of our confinement, sporting events are beginning to restart. And PGA golf tournaments are one of them. This week saw the first golfing event for three months with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Fort Worth.
First tournament for three months
Not only have golfers been shut in their homes unable to play, there have also been no tournaments to watch. This dearth has just come to an end with the first golf tournament in the covid-19 era. The Charles Schwab Challenge started this week at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The annual competition, a regular event on the PGA golf tournaments calendar, is usually held in May. This year, it takes place in June and has the special status as the first in the so-called ‘new normality’.
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World’s top players
Expectation is high – after three months of forced no-play, players and golfing fans alike are desperate for some action on the course. And at the four-day event, there should be plenty of it. This year’s Charles Schwab Challenge brings together no less than 18 of the world’s top 25 pros.
This competition is the first in the PGA calendar since March and the association has more lined up over the next few weeks. However, they will take place only in the US because the European Tour and worldwide tours are still not back.
New golf rankings
The big question at the first of the tournaments is how will the players perform after three months away from the course? Commentators expect them to be a little rusty, but report that everyone is excited and keen to get back on the greens.
Some pros have questioned the restarting of the PGA Tour without all players being able to participate. In response to this, the association has stated that the 11 March golf rankings will be frozen until normal play can resume.
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New normal at PGA golf tournaments
But although the pros are back, things are going to be quite different. The Charles Schwab Challenge is closed to the public – the first PGA golf tournament with spectators is planned for the Memorial Tournament in mid-July. And the organisers have reduced the number of TV camera and reporters.
As well as playing without applause and encouragement from their fans, players also have to observe strict health and hygiene regulations. Along with their cabbies, they’ll be tested for covid-19 when they arrive at the tournament and have their temperature taken every day.
Everyone on the course will have to observe social distancing rules. And there’ll be no high fives and handshakes for congratulations or commiserations. Expect to see a lot of elbow greetings on the greens instead. For their part, cabbies must clean rakes and flagsticks after each use.
New normal for Costa del Sol golf
While there are no golf tournaments taking place at the moment, golf courses in Marbella have reopened and welcomed back players. Many golfing fans have discovered first-hand why the game offers the best tonic after lockdown and how easy social distancing is when you’re out in the open air on the golf course!
Costa del Sol green fees are at their most competitive ever, although only Rio Real Golf offers dynamic prices. And of course, the ‘new normal’ involves rigourous health and safety measures to ensure every player has absolute peace of mind. You can read the Rio Real covid-19 protocol here.
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