Here’s what will be asked of fans in the PGA Tour’s first event back with galleries
PGA Tour events might welcome fans again in the near future, but it will be much longer before galleries look the way they did before the pandemic. That much was clear after the Memorial Tournament, which is scheduled to be the first Tour event with fans in attendance in mid-July, announced Wednesday a litany of safety protocols required of all attendees.
The procedures outline a cautious path forward for on-site attendance in golf and were designed in concert with Muirfield Village Golf Club, tournament officials, the state of Ohio and the Tour. Most notably, all attendants are required to wear masks and undergo regular temperature readings. Officials will also limit the number of fans permitted in certain areas to minimize crowding.
“We very much look forward to the return of spectators on a limited basis at the Memorial Tournament,” Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer, said in a release. “Beyond that week’s event, we will continue to work with host organizations, state and local government agencies and leading medical experts on parallel plans that include spectators, a limited number of spectators and without spectators.”
According to the release, those in attendance will be asked to complete temperature readings and questionnaires before attending and upon entrance to the course. The tournament will also provide patrons who do not have proper protection with a face mask to be worn upon arrival. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout large communal areas, including entrances, bathrooms and concessions.
On the course, all on-site bleachers and grandstands will be eliminated. In its place, the tournament plans to construct one-way walking corridors and “corrals” near greens and fairways. Each corral will be monitored by tournament staff and will only permit a limited number of fans.
The Memorial, scheduled for July 16-19, will be the second consecutive event at Muirfield Village. The previous week, the Workday Charity Open will host an extended-field event in place of the John Deere Classic, which was forced to cancel due to safety concerns.
Even with fans, the Memorial will host only 20 percent of its maximum capacity (reportedly only around 8,000 attendees) in order to comply with safety requirements.
This year marks the 45th year at Muirfield Village for the event founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus.