Spectator guidelines in a new golf watching landscape

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Spectator guidelines in a new golf watching landscape

Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush (Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced Covid-19 patron protocol highlights related to last Friday’s statement declaring Ohio State approval for limited attendance for the 45th edition of the world-renowned event founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus.

The 2020 Memorial Tournament will be contested at Muirfield Village Golf Club the week of July 13-19 in conjunction with the PGA Tour’s adjusted tournament schedule due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Amateur Champion James Sugrue will be in the field and thanks to a Memorial Covid-19 Task Force, the Mallow man will have some spectators on site to watch him.

“Together with the PGA Tour, who we have worked jointly with throughout this process, we are looking forward to partnering with State, County and City leadership, along with the Memorial Covid-19 Task Force, to offer the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide as an example of how public gathering events can be developed and implemented with approved and accepted protocols in place,” said Tournament Executive Director Dan Sullivan.

Below are highlights of the Memorial’s Cobid-19 patron protocols designed to promote the health and safety of all who will be onsite for this year’s Tournament. The Memorial’s full operational plan will be released in the coming weeks.

 

ADMISSION PROTOCOL

Prior to Arrival: Each individual with a badge that intends to arrive on property will be asked to take their temperature and review and answer the six question CDC recommended questionnaire. If the temperature reading is 100 or higher and/or any of the six questions are answered in affirmative the individual is asked to stay at home and seek medical advice.

Upon Arrival:

Questionnaire: Upon arrival all staff, volunteers, competition community and patrons will be asked the six CDC recommended questionnaire questions. If any of the six questions are answered in affirmative the individual is asked to leave the property and to seek medical advice.

Temperature readings: FDA approved temperature readers will be deployed at each of the Tournament entrances and utilized by attendants to capture the temperatures of all who enter the property. If the temperature reading is 100 or higher the individual will be isolated and administered a second reading. If the temperature once again measures 100 or higher the attendee will be asked to leave the property and to seek medical advice.

Masks: Non-Surgical masks will be required upon entry to the property for all attendees, with exempted exceptions recognised. Attendees will be invited to bring their own mask or issued one upon arrival.

 

GOLF COURSE – The Tournament will implement and enforce protocols and regulations that will ensure that patrons can navigate the over two million sq. ft. of open space on the property and maintain the required social distancing measures.

Corridors: Within each hole there will be designated one-way corridors allowing attendees to navigate the holes while reducing/eliminating walking confluence.

Corrals: Within each hole there will exist designated sitting or standing corrals through which, a predetermined number of attendees will be permitted to watch the competition. Each corral will be marked with a maximum number of attendees and will be monitored.

Bleachers: All on-site bleachers have been eliminated for the 2020 Tournament

SANITIZERS – Hand sanitizer “mini-bottles” will be provided for all staff and volunteers to utilize  throughout the week. Attending individuals will be encouraged to bring their own “mini-bottle” (2oz or less) of hand sanitizer. Stationary hand sanitizer units will be placed throughout the golf course at the entrances, restroom and concession locations.

CASHLESS POINT OF SALE (POS) – All payment for on course concessions and retail will be conducted through credit card, no cash will be exchanged on property. Credit card payment will be applied through customer swipe or tap.

PARKING – Through the over 100 acres of owned parking space and limited attendance, guests will be provided the ability to park their own vehicles and walk to the tournament venue. Note: The Memorial has eliminated all general public shuttle transport for the 2020 Tournament.

Additionally, all badge options for this year’s Memorial Tournament are currently sold out as the Tournament will implement and execute protocols to allow for a 20% maximum capacity on property, encompassing patrons and private venues, as well as everyone required to operate the Tournament.

The 2020 Memorial Tournament will mark the first PGA Tour event to include on-site fans since March, when The Players Championship was forced to halt play due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The PGA Tour will also become among the first professional sports leagues in the United States to allow spectator attendance when the Memorial commences the week of July 13-19.

“The news announced last week by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is a very positive step for the PGA Tour and the Memorial Tournament as it relates to a phased approach in re-introducing a limited number of on-site fans and guests. We very much look forward to the return of spectators on a limited basis at the Memorial Tournament,” said Andy Pazder, PGA Tour Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer.

“Beyond that week’s event, we will continue to work with host organisations, state and local government agencies and leading medical experts on parallel plans that include spectators, a limited number of spectators and without spectators.”

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