Next week’s Sanford International on the PGA Tour Champions will be the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event to allow fans since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play.
According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, fans will be permitted onsite at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on each of the three competition days. Practice rounds will remain closed to the public.
Temperature checks will be administered to fans before entering the gates, and masks are strongly encouraged, though not required. Officials will also add extra hand-sanitizer stations, any food served will be pre-packaged and all credit cards will be accepted at concession areas to limit cash transactions. Autographs will be prohibited.
“We’re hoping to be the blueprint [for other tournaments],” Sanford International tournament director Josh Brewster told the Argus Leader.
Last week, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was asked about fans returning to PGA Tour events, and he was optimistic the circuit could start allowing a limited number of fans into events later this fall or early next year.
“We will be reintroducing programs and then I think as you look beyond the fall and into ’21,” Monahan said, “every tournament is starting to plan for multiple potential outcomes, and hopefully planning towards the return of what we know as normal, and that’s fans on-site.”
Monahan also said the Tour is planning to hold its first pro-am since the restart later this month at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship. There have already been pro-ams on the PGA Tour Champions and the Korn Ferry Tour since the tours have resumed.