The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic economic impact on just about every industry on the planet — pro golf included. The impact has been especially harsh on players without status on the top-level PGA Tour and its top development circuit, the Korn Ferry Tour. But there is good news in sight for members of lower development tours.
According to an email obtained by GOLF.com, the PGA Tour is partnering with a soon-to-be announced sponsor to stage an eight-event series this fall designed for players who have missed out on playing opportunities on international development tours (PGA Tour Series-China, Mackenzie Tour and PGA Tour Latinoamérica) because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The series is slated to feature 54-hole, stroke-play events with 36-hole cuts of the low 55 players and ties. The events will have 144-player fields with approximate purses of $100,000, with $16,000 to each tournament’s winner. Entry fees will be $675.
“The events will be operated under Tour oversight to provide competitive integrity and player payment assurance,” the email states. “(And) the events will be conducted following strict Covid-19 protocols.”
Some of these Covid-19 protocols include mandatory daily questionnaires, daily temperature screenings, social distancing and a mandate to avoid fitness gyms, bars and restaurants during tournament weeks. Additionally, no caddies will be allowed.
The series is scheduled to kick off Aug. 4 in Alpharetta, Ga., at the Golf Club of Georgia before heading up the road to Echelon Golf Club for a tournament the following week.
Callaway Gardens Resort in Pine Mountain, Ga., will play host from Aug. 25-28 before the series heads to Alabama Aug. 31-Sept. 3 for an event at Auburn University Club. Additionally, The Club at Weston Hills in Weston, Fla., is slated for an event Oct. 6-9. Other sites have not been finalized.
A projected series schedule provided to players via email is below.
The Golf Club of Georgia
Echelon Golf Club
Callaway Gardens Resort
Pine Mountain, Ga.
Aug. 31-Sept. 3
Auburn University Club
Week of Sept. 21
Targeting Northern Florida
Week of Sept. 28
Targeting Northern or Central Florida
The Club at Weston Hills
Week of Oct. 26
Targeting resort destination