Report: PGA players, caddies ‘not listening’ to safety protocols ahead of tour’s reopening

Jun 10, 2020; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Sergio Garcia prepares to play a shot from the sixth tee during a practice round for the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at Colonial Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour is set to finally get back to business this weekend. The Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth is the first event on tour in three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the players, caddies and the tour itself ramps up for the reopening, there is apparently a disconnect about safety measures.

PGA Tour recently issued a memo detailing safety protocols for tournaments

Back in the second week of May, the PGA Tour released a memo outlining safety protocols for players, caddies, their families and everyone involved in the tournaments.

According to the PGA Tour memo, obtained by ESPN, the idea behind the protocols is to “create a ‘bubble’ in which those in tournaments will operate, with the hope that they will isolate from the general public as much as possible.”

“The player should take care and limit the interaction with their caddie during the round,” the memo said.

For the tournament this weekend in Forth Worth, no fans will attend. This will be the case for the first four events on the PGA Tour, with the Memorial in mid-July being the first tournament slated to have fans in attendance.

Players and caddies ‘not listening’ to PGA Tour protocols

A couple of reporters who spoke with players competing at Colonial this weekend shared similar stories. Essentially, players are acting like nothing has changed.

Michael Collins of ESPN shared that one PGA Tour player told him “it was business as usual yesterday on the golf course.” He then shared messages that were sent to players by the tour:

  • Please remember to practice social distancing at all times, including on the course and practice areas.
  • This is critical to both health and safety and the public presentation of our sport. Thank you.

After Collins shared this information, Brian Wacker of Golf Digest wrote that “multiple caddies/players” have told him “they’re not listening to any of the tour’s protocols and will eat out, stay wherever they want, etc.”

This isn’t to say that all players and caddies are disregarding the safety protocols. But even if it’s just a portion, it could be bad news for the sport.