How COVID-19 Affected The PGA Tour

By:Tyler Houghton

When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the golf season was forced to come to an abrupt pause leaving their fans in disappointment. On March 12, the Professional Golf Association Tour commissioner announced the cancellation/postponement of all PGA Tour golf events until further notice. This was an effort to create a safe environment for their staff and players. Once the PGA had a date to conitnue events, they released information on how they would be dealing with the virus. Players and caddies were forced to disrupt their daily routine they had practiced since joining the Tour. Players were subject to new stress due to the virus being present everywhere they travelled. If a player tested positive they would be subject to an immediate withdrawal. This resulted in certain golfers refusing to participate in certain international tournaments.

Daan Huizing wins the Double Dutch trophy.

Resuming The Season

On June 11, 2020, the PGA Tour resumed their season, hosting the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fortworth, Texas. In an attempt to keep their players safe, the tour asked that players remove and replace all golf clubs from their bags themselves. They also asked the caddies to tend and replace the flagstick, while cleaning the flagstick before they replace it. As the event kicked off players had a hard time following their new COVID-19 rules, Ryan Palmer said “I'm always going to pull the club out, and I'm always going to hand it back to my caddie James Edmondson. You're going to see it every day,” 

The Ryder Cup


How COVID-19 Cancelled The Ryder Cup

On July 8th, the PGA Tour decided to cancel the annual Ryder Cup. It was a sad moment for all golf fans as the annual biennial team event between the US and Europe was cancelled. It is no shock to the golf world though, as most of the professional golfers who would be playing in the Ryder Cup said they felt that the Ryder cup should not happen without fans being there to cheer on their countries. “I personally don’t want to play if there are no fans, I don’t see a point in playing it,” said by Brooks Koepka. After the backlash form the professional community, the Ryder Cup was cancelled.

People wearing full body PPE to try to prevent the spread of the virus


COVID-19 Safety Measures

When It became evident that players and workers among the PGA Tour were testing positive amidst resuming the season, there had to be new safety measures put in place to help keep everyone else safe who were testing negative. Players and caddies already went through a rigorous screening process for COVID-19. This process involved a pre-travel test, which allowed players to stay at home instead of having to travel to the tournament to not be allowed to play. Additionally, if players tested negative on the pre-travel test they were subjected to on-site testing at the tournament before they were allowed to proceed on the course, results would come back within two hours. When the Season first resumed, they allowed golfers who continued to test positive to play, as long as they had been in isolation for ten days and had seventy-two hours with no respiratory fever. As Nick Watney and a couple of others contracted the virus the PGA Tour announced they will be no longer running COVID-19 only pairing's due to the risk of accidental spread.

Charles Bakley

An image of Charles Barkely.


Celebrity Golf Match

After the pandemic started golf fans were left in the dust with live golf entertainment nowhere to be seen. On May 24, 2020, the wait was over as Capital One hosted a celebrity golf event with Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Peyton Manning. This golf match was hosted to raise money for COVID-19 response charities. It consisted of four all star athletes who were able to gain a big enough audience to raise Twenty Million dollars for COVID-19 relief. Many celebrities and athletes were betting on one of the teams to win, with their winnings going towards charity. For example, Brooks Koepka (a PGA all-star) bet a hundred-thousand dollars that Tom Brady wouldn't make a par on the front nine holes. One of the good things to come out of this pandemic within the golf community is that television organizations have realized celebrity matches can gain an enormous audience to generate lots of donations for their selected charity. Another celebrity match that has recently happened had Phil Mickelson, Charles Barkley, and Peyton Manning all playing in the same group together. Once again this was another match for charity as most fans enjoy watching an average celebrity golfer play, as it makes them feel better about their own game.


How COVID-19 Is Still Having An Effect On The PGA Tour

As COVID-19 seems to be a never-ending problem in our world, it's no different in the golf community. In the 2020-2021 season, many tournaments in Asian countries have been cancelled due to COVID-19. On August 31, 2020, the PGA Tour announced they would be moving the 2020 Zozo Championship from Japan to Sherwood Country Club. This was upsetting to the golf community as the tournament just launched last year, where we saw Woods gain his 82nd Tour Victory. Although it was not ideal that these tournaments switched locations, they were still able to be played. The WGC HSBC Championship was cancelled in China due to government guidelines within staging sports events. As new safety precautions have been advised the PGA Tour has become one of the first sports to allow a partial amount of fans to spectate. On November 5-8 at the Houston Open, they will allow 2,000 fans each day to spectate. Golf was considered a generally safe sport with COVID-19 guidelines due to the lack of contact between participators, allowing it to be one of the first professional sports to resume their season and fan participation.


Bell, Stephania. “How the PGA Tour Is Trying to Help Its Players Avoid COVID-19 and the Common Injury.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, July 15, 2020.

Bonesteel, Matt. “'The Match 3' Reportedly Will Feature Three Good Golfers and Charles Barkley.” The Washington Post. WP Company, October 15, 2020.

Wacker, Brian. “PGA Tour Will No Longer Single out Players or Have 'COVID Only' Pairings.” GolfDigest, July 28, 2020.

Golf Channel Digital May 24, 2020 at 6:05 PM, et al. “Watch: Struggling Tom Brady Holes Approach Shot for a Birdie.” Golf Channel,

Rex Hoggard June 11, 2020 at 1:55 PM, 2020 Golf Channel Digital  — June 14, and 2020 Rex Hoggard  — June 13. “Players and Caddies Adapting - or Not - to PGA Tour's New Safety Rules.” Golf Channel. Accessed December 2, 2020.

Rex Hoggard August 4, 2020 at 7:41 PM, et al. “Quarantine Travel Restrictions Made Decision to Return Difficult for Adam Scott.” Golf Channel,

Melton, Zephyr. “How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Impacting the 2020-21 PGA Tour Season.” Golf,, 2 Sept. 2020, 

Melton, Zephyr. “2020 Ryder Cup Postponed to 2021 at Whistling Straits, New Date Set.” Golf., July 8, 2020. 

Wacker, Brian. “PGA Tour Will No Longer Single out Players or Have 'COVID Only' Pairings.” GolfDigest, July 28, 2020.

Link To Next page:

Link To Day In The Life: