Here’s the update sent out by the PGA Tour near the end of the first round of the 2020 Players Championship on how they will handle the tournament moving forward now that fans have been barred from attending due to the Coronavirus.
Update from PGA TOUR for THE PLAYERS Championship
March 12, 2020 – 6:45 p.m. ET
As a follow-up to this afternoon’s announcement that THE PLAYERS Championship will be contested without fans for the remainder of the event, we would like to provide the attached Operations Plan in order to answer as many questions as possible for those impacted by these changes.
As stated previously, the PGA TOUR is in constant communication with local health authorities, and we are tracking and monitoring the health information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization and other government agencies. This is an incredibly fluid and dynamic situation, and we have been and are committed to being responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. So while this is our Operations Plan for THE PLAYERS at this time, we will make appropriate changes and provide updates as new information becomes available.
THE PLAYERS Championship
Operational Plan for Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Player & Player Family/Support Experience
- Player and Caddie Parking will remain in current locations.
- Player Transportation Committee will operate as normal, pending a daily review of usage.
- PhysioFitness Trailers will have normal staffing and operating hours.
- Player Services will be open with minimal staffing.
- Locker Room Services to continue.
- Childcare services to continue normal operating hours.
- Dining – Pub 17 to remain open for contestants only. Player Family Dining in the Ponte Vedra Room will remain for “D” access, plus player managers. Additionally, the Osprey Room (2nd floor of clubhouse) will be opened for properly credentialed extended family (without “D”) and properly credential essential working staff.
- Practice Facility will maintain current service levels using TPC Sawgrass Staff only. The Runner Committee will be suspended. The player shuttle service to the back of range will continue.
- Caddie Services (bibs, etc.) will continue. The Caddie Dining and Caddie Lounge operations remain open. Lot 6 caddie shuttle will continue.
- Player Support Personnel (therapists, coaches, trainers, instructors) will be allowed onsite. Dining will be in the Osprey Room.
- No. 1 and No. 10 Tee presence will be reduced to a single starter. No VIPs or Honorary Observers will be present.
- Scoring/ShotLink will deliver the full product. This involves one walking scorer with each group, two volunteers at each fairway and two volunteers at each green. These stationary volunteers also provide ball-spotting services.
- The marshal presence will be extremely limited. Only essential cross walks and approximately one position per fairway and green will be manned.
- There will be no standard bearers.
- There will be a small commissary team replenishing player refreshments on each tee and at the practice facility. Player refreshment tents will continue to operate.
- Roping and staking will be maintained by a small team.
- The scoring areas will remain staffed as normal.
- There will be no changes to the Bad Weather Evacuation Plan or volunteer committee.
- The PGA TOUR Rules Staff will continue to conduct the competition as normal.
- For Agronomy, the intention is to have a full complement of staff and volunteers to prepare the course and practice areas.
- Limited GameDay Staff members will man the main parking lot with a very limited number of volunteers.
- Parking attendants will be present in Lots 3 and 5
- All TPC Staff and anyone who has been parking at Oakbridge will be moved Lots 3 and 5.
- PGA TOUR East and West HQ Staff can return to normal parking lots (3, 4, 5) with display of employee ID or credential.
- Darlene’s Diner will be open to volunteers, vendors and working on-course staff.
- Volunteer parking will be in general parking area, with credential.
- Normal credentialed Media Center operations to continue.
- Media members will be allowed to follow play outside-the-ropes only.
- Interviews will be conducted at the player’s discretion.
- Media flash area will be managed to only allow one-on-one interviews and group interviews via player on the “Flash Interview Stage.” No other “scrums” will be permitted.
Broadcast and “Every Shot Live”
- No planned changes to the broadcast presence or distribution is expected.
- Only player family, player support and essential personnel will be allowed in the venue.
- No fans will be allowed.
- All hospitality areas will be closed, including Commissioner’s Hospitality.
- All on-course food vendors will be closed.
No vendors will be allowed to do strike or load-out during competition hours.
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.