With the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic continuing to greatly affect society, the Disc Golf Pro Tour team sends its thoughts and best wishes to all those dealing with hardships. We thank all the healthcare professionals and essential workers for their efforts during this challenging time.
Today, the DGPT can share another update regarding the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the professional disc golf touring season. First, the Professional Disc Golf Association has just released the following update regarding the sanctioning status of all PDGA events through May and the postponement of PDGA Majors and National Tour events through July:
“Due to the uncertainty regarding the pandemic, as well as the widespread implementation of country, regional, and municipal stay-at-home orders and World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines limiting mass gatherings, PDGA sanctioning is suspended through May 31, 2020.
All PDGA Major and PDGA National Tour events originally scheduled through July 31, 2020, are postponed.”
-Professional Disc Golf Association, 4/17/2020
San Francisco Open Postponed
In support of the PDGA’s sanctioning decision, and in partnership with the SFO event team, the San Francisco Open has been postponed. The SFO team is currently assessing options and considering whether or not rescheduling the event is feasible. Tournament Director Sean Jack offers the following comment:
“With the recent announcement by the PDGA to extend the sanctioning suspension through the month of May, Team SFO is limited to the options of postponement or cancellation of the 2020 San Francisco Open. While cancellation is certainly still on the table, we will wait and see how national and local jurisdictions adjust shelter-in-place orders and large group gathering restrictions before making a final decision. We take the safety of our players and staff very seriously and have to balance our desire to hold the tournament with many other factors and open questions:
- Ensuring the safety and health of players and staff.
- City of San Francisco / SF Rec & Park allowing events on the Gleneagles property.
- Sufficient access to the course to prepare for championship-caliber play.
- Financial viability of the tournament considering the loss of critical revenue streams such as gate fees, food, and merchandise sales.
- Will there be an open spot on the calendar in late June or July?
- Will there be other tour events close enough to ensure a competitive field?
- Will the players be willing to travel to an event in a major US city
- Will travel restrictions impact the ability of players to travel to San Francisco?
- Will players be willing to follow strict guidelines necessary for events to take place?
Like all of you, we cannot wait for professional disc golf to return. If we and other regional tour events can find a path to run our tournaments – we’ll do our best to host the 2020 SFO – as long as we can create a safe environment for all. Stay tuned!”
-Sean Jack & Shawn Mercy, SFO Tournament Directors
With the postponement of the SFO, this is now the current list of affected events on the DGPT:
While the PDGA has suspended Majors and NTs through July, the DGPT has not made final decisions on Pro Tour events for June or July at this time.
The next event on the DGPT schedule after the SFO is The Challenge at Goat Hill Park in Oceanside, California, which is part of the DGPT’s Silver Series. Tournament Director Allen Risley is staying up to date with developments and has not decided to postpone or cancel the event at this time, sharing:
“The Challenge at Goat Hill Park is currently monitoring the COVID-19 guidelines set forth by State of California and local government officials. The event will be held, even if rescheduling to a later date is required. We have the full support of Goat Hill Park management, our title sponsor, Innova Champion Discs and the DGPT to hold the event at a time and in a format that is safe for players and tournament staff and entertaining for the public.”
-Allen Risley, TD of The Challenge at Goat Hill Park
Portland Open Plans to Move Forward Without Spectators
The next Elite Series event on the DGPT Schedule is the Portland Open presented by Bevel Craft Brewing on July 3-5. At this time the DGPT plans to move forward with the event but has made the decision that if the event is able to be held on it’s planned current date, it will be held without spectators and in accordance with guidance from all national and local authorities. Tour Director Jeff Spring shares the following update:
“The DGPT and the Portland Open are aiming for the event to serve as the re-start of the professional touring season. I’ve been in touch with all local partners and Metro Parks (where the Blue Lake course is located) this week, and as of now, the event looks as though it can move forward. Obviously, the progression of the pandemic could change these plans, but we are encouraged by recent news from the PGA Tour, which aims to restart events without spectators in early June.
“The Portland Open team will continue to monitor the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic and work with local and state officials to ensure the event can provide a safe environment for competitors and the small amount of event and media staff members who would be in attendance. If we are able to move forward, we anticipate putting restrictions on the amount of time players can be at the course, restricting group sizes, and asking all players to follow strict social distancing guidelines.”
-Jeff Spring, DGPT CEO & Director
Spring and the DGPT will continue to provide weekly updates regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the DGPT 2020 Schedule, as well as any effect the changes may have on the 2021 touring season. “We are working closely with the PDGA to understand the best options to reschedule the events that are being displaced, if possible. This may affect the start date and approach to scheduling the 2021 season. We are open to all possibilities when it comes to creating as many opportunities as possible for the incredible touring professional athletes in our sport to exhibit their skills in the great disc golf communities on tour, and online for disc golf fans around the world.”