The effects of Covid-19 on professional golf


Life as we know it has been flipped inside out over the last two and a half months, with no indication of when it will be back to normal. Along with schools closing and international travel being nearly impossible, athletics as we know it came to a screeching halt midseason. Professional and collegiate athletes were forced to stop playing, some even mid competition in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This was a necessary measure, of course, however, now the conversation being had is how to restart the world of sports in the safest way possible for the athletes competing. Every league has been thrown a curveball with Coronavirus as they are not sure how to go about resuming play, but since the cancellation, multiple plans have been suggested. Some of these courses of action include the continuation of play with the absence of fans. This would solve the issue of spreading the virus in a 50,000 plus seating stadium, however, many athletes, golfers especially, have not been so happy with the idea. 

In the world of professional golf, the PGA tour has had to make major changes to its 2020 tournament schedule to accommodate the disruption that Coronavirus has caused. One of the most famous tournaments, the Masters, has been held in April since its beginning. Now it will be held at Augusta in November of 2020. Some tournaments, like the Open Championship, have even been canceled because there is not enough time left in the 2020 season for these professionals to prepare for it. Dates have been changed and are likely to change again, however, there has been much talk about not having fans at these tournaments if they are able to play. 

The Ryder Cup is a huge fan-based tournament where the United States competes directly against Europe. It is scheduled to be held at the end of September 2020, however, the PGA tour said that as of right now, it would be played without fans. Many professionals have expressed their thoughts on this, among them Rory McIlroy, said that if they can’t play the Ryder Cup with fans, that he would almost rather hold off until 2021 when events could have the possibility of having fans again. It just wouldn’t be the same experience that the golfers have when competing for their country. Brooks Koepka also has stated that the lack of fans would cause an issue for finding golf balls for example. It would be very uncomfortable for the players.

Obviously COVID-19 has bigger effects than the prevention of fans attending professional sports, however, it will be an issue that could possibly continue for months to come. Hopefully in a few months or so, once our nation sees an increase in recovery and a lack of new infections, professional sports, and life as we know it will return.