LPGA Statement on the 2021 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (July 29, 2021) – Due to ongoing travel and border restrictions as well as the current health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the LPGA Tour and Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation announced today that the 2021 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, originally scheduled for Oct. 28-31, is cancelled further the advice of the government.
We are thankful to Swinging Skirts, the Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, GAROC, and IMG for their continued support and efforts in trying to conduct the 2021 tournament. The LPGA Tour and Swinging Skirts remain committed in the event’s return to the 2022 Tour schedule.
Press Release by Christina Lance, Director, Tour Media, LPGA
After a long wait and a bleak winter, restrictions are finally starting to ease in England.
The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and we can now take part in a limited selection of government sanctioned outdoor activities like tennis, grassroots football and golf.
In accordance with the government’s plan to gradually ease lockdown measures, golf courses across England have been given the green light to reopen from the March 29th.
England’s courses have been closed since January 5th in order to limit community spread of COVID-19.
The decision was confirmed by vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, in a series of televised press interviews on Monday 22nd February.
Golf came back in Wales on Saturday March 13th, while courses in Scotland remained open throughout the Winter, albeit with limited capacity.
Casual golfers or anyone looking to start a new hobby may not be setting up their first post-lockdown tee for a little while yet. A large number of clubs in England have reopened to members only as a way to keep numbers down as restrictions continue to be in place.
Club houses are set to open up to guests on April 12th, with hungry golfers only allowed to bring takeaway food and drink in the meantime.
Attempts to reopen courses earlier than March 29th were unsuccessful.
England Golf and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf published a report detailing how golf could be played safely in accordance with COVID-19 health guidelines, which led to strong public criticism of the government’s decision to close golf courses.
Criticism of the decision frequently centred on impacts on mental and physical health.
A petition to reopen golf courses immediately gained more than 130,000 signatures. It was debated in parliament one week ago on the 22nd of March, with no decision reached to open earlier than the planned date.
“Sport is crucial for our mental and physical health,” the government responded to the petition in a statement on the 18th of January.
Other outdoor activities like tennis and football are allowed from today. Prime minister Boris Johnson has described such activities as the “best way to restore freedom while minimising risk”.
March 29th is a big step forward in the government’s reopening programme which is currently still on track to be over by the 21st of June 2021.
The European Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour today jointly confirmed the postponement of the three co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa.
Following thorough consultation with the medical teams from both Tours, it has been agreed to reschedule the three co-sanctioned events, that were due to take place in February, until later in the year.
The Challenge Tour’s ‘South African Swing’ will now begin in the week of 22-25 April. An announcement will be made shortly regarding this tournament and its venue. This will be followed by the Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 29 April – 2 May, and then the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt Golf Estate from 6-9 May.
Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “The decision to postpone these events follows consultation with all stakeholders and was made with the health and well-being of all players and staff as our absolute priority.
“I want to express our thanks to the Sunshine Tour, and each of the tournament venues, sponsors and stakeholders for their flexibility and understanding of this situation. We greatly appreciate our partnership with our friends at the Sunshine Tour and look forward to co-sanctioning the three events later this year.”
Thomas Abt, Sunshine Tour Commissioner, said: “In light of the current worldwide increase in COVID-19 cases and after consultation with our own health experts and GolfRSA and its Risk Mitigation Strategy, we believe it is the most responsible course of action to postpone these tournaments.
“The safety of our members as well as our staff is our primary concern. I’d like to thank the Challenge Tour as well as our own Sunshine Tour Board of Directors and sponsors for their guidance, patience and understanding amidst what remains a very fluid situation for world golf.”
A look at the current situation regarding Covid-regulations throughout Europe.
The numbers of Covid infections in Europe have been rising drastically for weeks now, which has led to new rules and guidelines. It is not easy to keep track of in which country golf can still be played. Here is a little overview over the respective regulations that currently apply in several European countries.
In Germany there are currently contact restrictions which only allow golf flights with an maximum amount of 2 people. However, this means that the golf courses will remain open. Decisions are ultimately taken by the regional authorities, which means that stricter regulations can still come in German states with high infection numbers.
In Spain, there is a nationwide nighttime curfew and almost all of Spain’s regions have imposed regional border closures to prevent long-distance travel. Within Spain, however, it is still permitted to travel. Concerning golf, the central government has empowered the individual regions to take further decisions. So it depends on where exactly you are in Spain and what the local authorities decide.
In England there will be a country-wide lockdown coming into effect on Thursday, the 5th of November, which will last until December the 2nd. The Government has confirmed that golf courses and driving ranges will be among the businesses and venues ordered to close when the country begins a month-long shutdown. Ireland and Wales are in a two-week lockdown since the 23rd of October. Golf is also affected by this, as the courses are currently all closed. In Scotland the golf courses are not affected and golf can still be played.
Despite stricter regulations in some regions of Sweden, golf courses may remain open and golf can be played when keeping distance.
While all indoor activities must be stopped in Austria with the new lockdown in November, the golf courses will remain open.
In France, the situation has been declared by the French Golf Association, who published a notice giving details of new restrictions. These have a direct impact on the golf sector and will result in a temporary closure of French golf clubs throughout the country from Thursday, the 29 of October to the first of December.
In the Netherlands, golf can still be played in accordance with the distance rules. Under certain conditions even tournaments are allowed
The respective guidelines are constantly changing and are appointed according to the current situation of infections. What is currently valid may already be out of date by tomorrow. If you are unsure whether you can currently play in your region, you should check with your golf club in advance.
The PGA of America released an official statement on Tuesday evening announcing that the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park will be rescheduled for a later date yet to be determined due to growing concerns of the Coronavirus outbreak.
PGA of America: PGA championship to be postponed to a later date amid Coronavirus concerns:
“Throughout our evaluation process, we have been committed to following the guidance of public health authorities and given the coronavirus shelter-in-place order in effect in San Francisco, postponement is the best decision for all involved,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.
“This is a reflection of a thoughtful process,” Waugh added. “We are and have been working in concert with Commissioner Jay Monahan and our partners and friends at the PGA TOUR to find an alternative date that works for all. We are all very hopeful for a great outcome.
“We are also in dialogue with Mayor Breed and her team at the City of San Francisco and look forward to hopefully bringing the 2020 PGA Championship to TPC Harding Park at a date this summer when it is once again safe and responsible to do so.”
European TOUR officials released a statement Tuesday evening regarding the postponement of the 2020 Andalucia Masters hosted by Sergio Garcia and originally set to take place April 30-May 3. The tournament is just one of many that has been postponed or cancelled amid the current Coronavirus crisis.
European Tour: Official statement released on postponement of the 2020 Andalucia Masters Tournament:
The decision was made in consultation with tournament stakeholders, the Junta de Andalucía, Real Club Valderrama, the Sergio Garcia Foundation and title sponsor Estrella Damm, in light of travel restrictions in Spain.
Discussions are ongoing with all parties looking into the possibility of rescheduling the tournament at a later date.
Javier Reviriego, the CEO of Real Club Valderrama, said: “We are deeply concerned by the current developments related to Coronavirus and we believe postponing the event is the best decision. We will work jointly with the European Tour and our sponsors to find a new date in the calendar to host this fantastic golf tournament. All of us at Valderrama look forward to hosting players and fans when we put this exceptional situation behind us.”
Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “We are all taking a day-by-day approach at the moment and we continue to assess the impact of Coronavirus on all our events, but following discussions with all parties involved, it was clear that postponing the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation at this point is the correct course of action. Public health and well-being remains the absolute priority for all of us.”
PGA Tour: TOUR officials released a statement Tuesday evening announcing the cancelation of additional tournaments in the wake of the recent Coronavirus outbreak. The TOUR has announced cancelations across all of it’s tours through May 10, 2020. The official statement provided by PGA Tour communications is as follows:
PGA Tour: Additional events canceled among Coronavirus outbreak
“The health and safety of everyone associated with the PGA TOUR and the global community is and will continue to be our No. 1 priority as we navigate the ongoing health crisis related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
On March 12, the PGA TOUR made the announcement to cancel or postpone four weeks of events on all six Tours through the week of the Valero Texas Open (March 30-April 5). Augusta National Golf Club also announced the postponement of the Masters Tournament (April 6-12).
With the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the Office of the President of the United States, the PGA TOUR will now cancel four additional events: RBC Heritage (April 13-19); Zurich Classic of New Orleans (April 20-26); Wells Fargo Championship (April 27-May 3); and AT&T Byron Nelson (May 4-10).
Furthermore, the PGA of America has postponed the PGA Championship (May 14-17) for a date later this year, to be announced. Also announced today, the USGA is currently holding the dates for the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club as scheduled (June 18-21) but will, as all of us are, continue to monitor the developing situation and follow recommendations by government authorities.
As we receive more clarity in the coming weeks, the TOUR will be working with our tournament organizations and title sponsors, in collaboration with golf’s governing bodies, to build a PGA TOUR schedule for 2020 that ensures the health and safety for all associated with our sport and a meaningful conclusion to the season. We will provide further updates when those plans come into focus.
Today’s cancellation of PGA TOUR events through May 10 applies to all six Tours, although PGA TOUR Champions has rescheduled The Regions Tradition. Originally slated for May 7-10, the event will now be played September 24-27. PGA TOUR Champions previously announced on March 16 that the Mastercard Japan Championship (June 12-14) will not be contested due to the current travel advisories in place from the CDC, the WHO and the U.S. Department of State.
We will continue to work with the tournaments and partners affected by the schedule changes to make a positive impact in their respective communities and allow those events to come back at full strength in 2021. To give our fans respite from this ongoing situation, the PGA TOUR is working with its partners to make available archives of past PGA TOUR competitions and additional programming for fans. More details will be made available soon.”
With the Novel Coronavirus taking the world by storm, The United States included, many are left wondering what the current status of golf is. With nearly 5,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the USA and with schools, government subsidies, sports leagues and more shutting down nationwide the of access to golf courses might surprise some people.
Coronavirus in America: What are the options for playing a round of golf?
With nearly 5,000 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in the United States across 49 of the 50 states and nation-wide closures of bars, restaurants, government buildings, parks and more, the majority of people would safely assume that there is no chance to get out for a round of golf. The answer is surprisingly quite the contrary, as the majority of golf courses in the United States remain open for public play despite the rapidly spreading Coronavirus. Adding to the surprising level of public golf courses remaining open is the recent suspension of PGA events for the foreseeable future including arguably the most popular of the year, The 2020 Masters Tournament. It is a logical question to ask oneself if the most popular professional golf event in the world has been canceled, why on earth would courses remain open for amateur golfers? The answer more than likely lies within the fact that professional golf events hosts thousands upon thousands of spectators whereas a personal round of golf is limited to extremely small group sizes. Perhaps the answer lies within the game of golf itself given that it is played outdoors on a massively scaled area of play with groups typically being a maximum of four players.
United States Forbidding Large Gatherings
The common theme in the United States currently is forbidding gatherings of more than 50 people, especially in indoor close contact settings such as bars and restaurants, quite the opposite of a large outdoor area where only four people will come into contact with each other. It is important to note however that despite the majority of courses remaining open, government officials are still urging individuals to withhold from playing golf despite the lower risk. A main controversial topic surrounding the current status of golf courses across the country is the average age of the player. By now it has become common knowledge that the Coronavirus is much more of a danger to older individuals than younger individuals and as most people in the golf industry know, the age of the average golfer is typically on the older side.
Golf Courses: Non-Essential Businesses
Golf courses fall under what the United States are calling “non-essential” businesses, simply meaning that they are not necessary for everyday life unlike hospitals, supermarkets, post offices and more. Having said that, the majority of states are only “calling” for the closure of golf courses rather than strictly enforcing it, essentially meaning that it is the recommendation of the government to close but it is ultimately up to the individual course to make the final decision. Municipal golf courses in states such as Pennsylvania and California remain open with many courses implementing special installments to slow the spread of the virus. For example, golfers are allowed to play the 12 municipal golf courses throughout Los Angeles with the ability to ride solo in carts without an additional fee. Additionally, workers have installed barriers up to six-feet in order to minimize contact among players.
While the health and safety of citizens is paramount to playing a round of golf, some individuals who can’t help but want to play a round of golf are not so lucky in states such as Michigan. The governor of Michigan has since signed an executive order placing restrictions on “places of public accommodation” that applies to golf courses and country clubs alike.
Most Notable Club Closures
most notable closing of all golf clubs in the United States is the closing of
Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in which chairman Fred Ridley sent a
notice to members yesterday announcing the closure of the club. The average
golfer must take this news with a grain of salt however since most know the
extreme difficulty of getting the opportunity to play the most elusive club in
the world. On the other side of the situation, the TPC network of golf clubs
across the country, including TPC Sawgrass, will remain open and continue
Please remember when making the decision to play golf or not that the health and safety of yourself and your family are much more important than playing golf. The golf courses will not go anywhere anytime soon and it is not worth it to put yourself and others at risk. Please follow the advisories of your local and state governments in regards to the best practices.
Continued Coronavirus Updates
Live updates regarding the Coronavirus worldwide can be found via the World Health Organization updates page here.
PGA Tour officials released a statement yesterday regarding the cancelation of The Players Championship as well as tournaments across all Tours through the Valero Texas Open.
PGA Tour: Official statement on coronavirus and the cancelation of upcoming events:
“It is with regret that we are announcing the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship.
We have also decided to cancel all PGA TOUR events – across all of our Tours – in the coming weeks, through the Valero Texas Open.
We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point – and as the situation continues to rapidly change – the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.
We will be prepared to answer additional questions on Friday at 8 a.m.”