SPRINGFIELD, Mo–The Price Cutter Charity Championship is one of the more successful golf tournaments on the PGA Korn Ferry Tour.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised for 50 children’s charities in the ozarks.
But in this covid infected 2020 summer, that’ll be an awesome challenge.
Having fans at Highland Springs would be critical.
A month from now the eyes of the golf world will be on Springfield, Missouri.
The 31st Price Cutter Charity Championship will tee off with spectators on the golf course.
One of the first PGA sponsored events to do so.
“It’s exciting. We’re thrilled. Without fans, without spectators, I hate to think what this event would be like. With spectators it’s very exciting. At the same time the responsibility that comes with that is very significant,” said tournament director Jerald Andrews.
This is not something that Andrews’ team at Highland Springs, or the PGA Tour has considered lightly.
The tour has been talking with them on a daily basis.
“We do know that the players will be fully tested when they get to Springfield. And they’re going to have to have a clean bill of health before they’re allowed to come out to Highland,” Andrews said. “At this time related to spectators, it’s still up in the air. Right now the tour is telling us they’ll do a health questionnaire and temperatures as they come onto the course. We are required to have a physician on site. And we’re required to have an infectious disease physician within immediate access.”
You’ll see social distancing signs, hand sanitizers, and open air tents.
But the Charity Championship can only do so much.
“People are going to have to take their own accountability in place here. We’re not going to be policing the golf course and walking over and telling people to take two steps to your left. We can’t do that,” said Andrews.
There’s a reason Springfield will be the Korn Ferry Tour’s first full spectator experiment.
More like 16 and a half million reasons.
That’s how many dollars have gone to local children’s charities in the tourney’s three decades.
“Three months ago when golf was shut down, Alex Baldwin, the commissioner of the Korn Ferry Tour was telling me at the time. ‘We want to have spectators in Springfield. When golf comes back this is a flagship event.’ We want to be able to do here what we’ve typically been able to do. And have spectators for that. But at the same time its an immense amount of responsibility and accountability,” said Andrews.