FACILITY RESPONSE SURVEY
In an effort to provide the Philadelphia PGA Section membership with a broader idea of how facilities are dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and how they have had to alter their operations, please take a couple of minutes to fill out this short survey. For your reference, responses are viewable after you complete the survey.
NOTE: If you filled out the original survey which was sent on Saturday, March 14, and your facility status has changed, please take a moment to fill it out again with your updated your status.
TAKE THE SURVEY
COVID-19 UPDATES AND GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE
The White House, in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for large events and mass gatherings and recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States. More information on the White House’s guidance can be found by clicking here and the CDC’s guidance can be found by clicking here.
Employee Rights: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Click here for more information.
Under the guidance of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, using his authority under the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration order, Governor Tom Wolf ordered all businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants should stay open for carry-out and delivery only. To read the press release, click here. To read the full order from the Governor’s office, click here. To read the full order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, click here. To review a full list of affected industries and businesses, click here.
PENNSYLVANIA BUSINESS WAIVERS
The Philadelphia PGA Section has been in contact with numerous state legislators and officials to clarify how golf facilities are affected by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s order for all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Section has been advised that businesses seeking a waiver to the order should email with this email address: RAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
The Section encourages our golf facilities to email RAemail@example.com asking for exemptions for the following:
- Allowing members and / or guests to walk and carry their own bags on the golf course with no staff interaction (allowing for appropriate social distancing)
- Allowing golf facility superintendents to continue to maintain the property to protect against future financial hardship if courses become overgrown
- If applicable, we recommend that private-equity facilities state that their members have ownership stakes in the facility
As a reminder, full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places may continue to operate for takeout only.
We believe that the more golf facilities that request waivers, the more seriously the state legislature and / or governor’s office will consider blanket exemptions for golf courses.
The Section requests that PGA Professionals that send an email to RAfirstname.lastname@example.org, that they also copy (cc) Section Executive Director Geoff Surrette, PGA, (email@example.com) and Section Communications Director Matt Frey, PGA (firstname.lastname@example.org) so the Section has the ability to lobby on your behalf as well.
3/22 Update: Courses should remain closed for all play until further notice; enforcement begins on on Monday, March 23 at 8:00 a.m. Golf facilities may still continue to seek waivers from the state by emailing RAemail@example.com.
The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has confirmed that landscaping (e.g. facility / course maintenance) has been included under “essential services,” meaning superintendents may continue maintaining the grounds at this time.
The above information from the DCED is subject to change as the situation evolves. If PGA Members or Associates have specific questions, contact the DCED directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-PA-Health and select option No. 1.
As a reminder, Governor Tom Wolf’s prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations. Full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places may continue to operate for takeout only.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA
The city of Philadelphia issued a new Business Activity and Stay at Home Order detailing restrictions on business activity, personal activity, and congregation in Philadelphia in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. These new restrictions take effect Monday, March 23, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. Businesses that need clarification on whether they are defined as life-sustaining should review the City’s new Order which is consistent with orders issued to businesses by the Pennsylvania governor’s office. If your business is not listed as life-sustaining, you should assume that keeping your business open to the public is prohibited.
NEW JERSEY ORDERS
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today issued an executive order directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities. All restaurants may continue to operate by delivery and takeout only.
3/22 Update: Courses should remain closed for all play until further notice; outdoor activities, mentioned in Governor Phil Murphy’s press release, are restricted to individuals’ neighborhoods and personal yards.
Essential employees needed for “asset management” (e.g. course maintenance) may continue their work.
As a reminder, all restaurants may continue to operate by delivery and takeout only.
For additional information on COVID-19 and its impact on businesses, please visit the State of New Jersey business portal at cv.business.nj.gov.
Delaware Governor John Carney today issued a stay at home order to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The state of Delaware also ordered the closure all non-essential businesses.
The governor’s office released a comprehensive list of essential and non-essential businesses, as defined by Sunday’s order, and at this time, golf courses have been given an exception. The list states that “Other Amusement and Recreation Industries” are to close with the exception of some outdoor recreational activities, including NAICS digit 71391, which is defined as “Golf Courses and Country Clubs.” Click here to view the full list.
On April 6, the Delaware Governor amended his order to put into place the following restrictions on golf courses (click here to view the full text):
Golf courses may continue operation with the following restrictions:
- Clubhouses, indoor areas where people congregate, and locker rooms (with the exception of bathrooms) must be closed. Any food service must comply with the restrictions on restaurants set forth in the State of Emergency declaration and all modifications;
- Golf courses are prohibited from providing guests with motorized carts, golf bag carts, pencils, scorecards, or snack carts;
- Golf courses must monitor tee times and players to ensure adequate social distancing, and must raise flagsticks and holes to prevent players from touching cups;
- Players are prohibited from accessing neighboring properties to retrieve stray balls.
Restaurants and other eating places may offer takeout and delivery only.
Delaware is also restricting patronage to Delaware residents only, unless out-of-state customers have been quarantined in Delaware for 14 days. For a poster from the Division of Small Business, click here.
If your business has multiple NAICS codes, you may follow the instructions associated with the least restrictive NAICS code your business is classified under. If you are unsure, Please email email@example.com or call (302) 577-8477 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. with any additional questions.
Click here to read the state’s full press release. To view Frequently Asked Questions, click here. The state of Delaware also has a business resources webpage, which can be visited by clicking here.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today ordered all non-essential businesses to close, effective at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 23, to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Golf facilities are specifically mentioned in the closure order. Restaurants may offer takeout and delivery only. Click here to view the full order; click here to view the state’s interpretive guidance.
NOTE: Due to the ambiguity of the order issued by the state, the Philadelphia PGA Section is working diligently to confirm if golf facilities are able to maintain their courses during closure, similar to Pennsylvania and New Jersey guidance; once confirmed, another email will be delivered to your inbox.
Maryland has a COVID-19 business repsponse webpage, which can be visited by clicking here. The state is also offering COVID-19 emergency relief fund programs for businesses (click here to learn more) and a COVID-19 layoff aversion fund (to read more, click here).
PHILADELPHIA PGA SECTION UPDATES
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise across our region, the Philadelphia PGA Section is closely monitoring all available information related to the continued spread of the virus from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), state and local governments, and the PGA of America.
The health and safety of our membership, staff, and partners are our top priority. As such, the Philadelphia PGA Section has adjusted the following:
- Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour Events: POSTPONED THROUGH MARCH 27
- March 15 Awards Banquet: POSTPONED
- March 17 Rules of Golf Workshop:POSTPONED
- March 30 Spring Membership Meeting and Golf: POSTPONED
- March 31 Women in Golf Summit: POSTPONED
- April 6 Central Counties Chapter Spring Meeting: POSTPONED
The Section will continue to review its schedule and operations based on CDC, WHO and government guidance and communicate updates with you.
The CDC is providing COVID-19 updates here. For the CDC’s overall business guidance resource, click here.
For the foreseable future, the Philadelphia PGA Section staff will be working remotely. Any questions should be directed to the Section’s Communications Director, Matt Frey, PGA: firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you need to reach any of our other staff members, their remote contact information is listed below.
Executive Director, Geoff Surrette, PGA: (215) 399-7872, email@example.com
Assistant Executive Director, Barb Creveling: (215) 237-3888, firstname.lastname@example.org
PGA REACH Philadelphia Director, Leila Mackie, PGA: (704) 689-3136, email@example.com
Tournament Director, Brian Schulte, PGA: (215) 778-4411, firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Director, Matt Frey, PGA: (513) 205-3081, email@example.com
Member Services Administrator, Sue Unger: (215) 287-6139, firstname.lastname@example.org
PGA REACH Philadelphia Coordinator, Courtney Curcio: (856) 685-3167, email@example.com
Tournament Coordinator, Lewis Harry, PGA: (575) 405-3684, firstname.lastname@example.org
Operations Coordinator, Colin Marshall: (717) 870-7554, email@example.com
PGA OF AMERICA COVID-19 RESOURCES
The PGA of America has created a COVID-19 resource page for PGA Members and Associates, which can be visited by clicking here. The page includes resources for facilities, action steps for the general population and golf facilities, courses and food & beverage operations, and also provides information about the SupportLinc Member Assistance Program.
LETTER FROM PGA OF AMERICA OFFICERS
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the worlds of business and sports has quickly become more far reaching than we could have imagined. Our business will be affected, as will the lives of our friends and family. We are all feeling the strain of the unknown and the stress and anxiety a crisis can cause.
We want you to know that your Association is doing everything we can to mitigate risk and lead in a challenging time. Times like these give us a moment to pause and to assess changes that our facilities and association can pursue…to act in a way that reflects golf’s values among our constituents, and to stand tall knowing that we are the keepers of the game.
First and foremost, in challenging times like these, our utmost priority is on the health and well-being of our members and all involved with the work of the PGA.
While at least the next few weeks will prove challenging for our entire society, the golf industry will need to be prepared to come back strongly after things return to normal. We should be preparing now to take the necessary steps to reassure the public about the many benefits of our game, facilities and Professionals.
As such, we are thinking pragmatically about the Association’s business through the framework of our long-term strategic plan with focus on our members, game, business and people. For the purposes of this letter, we’ve bucketed the communication into three areas:
- PGA Professionals, their facilities and the golf industry
- Our Championships and events
- The operations of the Association and Sections.
PGA Professionals, their facilities and the golf industry – Communication is key. Yesterday, PGA Chief Membership Officer John Easterbrook sent a note to the membership outlining that PGA HQ staff will be operating remotely effective Monday; while Valhalla and PGA Golf Club remain open to the public. We also provided a set of common-sense recommendations for consideration by operators. We have committed to keeping PGA Professionals up-to-date through “Five Things to Know” and PGA.org on a regular basis. From an MSR and education perspective, please note the following:
- MSR Cycle – Extend the MSR cycle deadline from June 15, 2021 to June 15, 2022, for all Members. This is due to a number of MSR activity opportunities – meetings, education, tournaments, player development – that could be postponed or canceled. Additionally, this relieves pressure on Sections and Members to conduct or take part in these activities during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.
- Acceptable Progress – Extend the Acceptable Progress deadlines of all PGA Associates by one year. As travel to the PGA Education Center is currently curtailed, PGA Education staff is exploring online opportunities. With the uncertainty of testing sites remaining open, this provides flexibility with regard to Associates meeting their deadlines.
- PGA Golf Management University Students – 14 of our 18 GMU’s have currently cancelled classes and have moved to online delivery. PGA Education Staff will work with the universities directly in regard to needed accommodations within the Criteria and Standards.
- PGA Associates – We have cancelled pending seminars at Port St. Lucie through April. 81 individuals were impacted and we are refunding everyone’s registration fee and charging them back at a discounted rate. The team is looking into online options that could be adopted in the future. Teaching & coaching and Executive Management is offered on a quarterly basis and therefore have not been impacted.
Championships and Events – At this time, we are working closely with state and local public health and government officials in Texas, California and Michigan and Pennsylvania regarding the playing of our upcoming events: The PPC, PGA Championship, KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and the KPMG Womens PGA Championshiop. With the PGA TOUR canceling of The Players Championship and its next three events; the LPGA postponing its next three events, including its first Major Championship, after already cancelling three tournaments in Asia; and Augusta National postponing the Masters, we will be asked many questions about the status of our Championships and events.
We will continue to evaluate the status of each event every two weeks and provide further updates when available. Our hope is that the situation will improve, and once cleared by public health authorities, our events could be a welcome a “return to normal” in some form. That said, the health and well-being of all involved is our first priority and mandates from public health authorities will guide our decisions.
Due to recent NCAA actions, our PGA Works Collegiate Championship and the NextGen Spring Nationals are being cancelled as of today.
Association/Section Business – As noted above, we have asked all staff to work remotely for the foreseeable future in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our team. We would recommend that all PGA Sections follow our lead in this area. We have stressed to our staff how important it is that we continue to operate at an extremely high level to serve our Members and Sections during this period.
In addition, we have put a travel ban in effect both internationally and domestically. Again, we would recommend that you do the same. For at least the next four weeks, we also recommend that you postpone any group gatherings you are planning to host. And most importantly, stay close to what your state and local officials advise for your area. In addition, with the PGA Tour event cancelations, the corresponding qualifying events are also cancelled. Please let those participants know immediately.
PGA Member Assistance Program
People are understandably concerned about their health, jobs and future. During these unprecedented times, the PGA Member Assistance Program provides confidential, professional counseling and online services for a wide array of personal and well-being concerns. We encourage you to remind your fellow Members they can seek help at resources.pga.org. In addition, online guidance on preventive health and safety measures we can all take are available from the CDC.
We pledge to communicate relentlessly with all stakeholders and be open at all times as this situation inevitably evolves. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions and concerns. Remember that we are all in this together, will get out of it together and be that much stronger for the experience.
PREPARING FOR COVID-19 IN THE WORKPLACE
The PGA of America established a new resource center on PGA.org specific to helping our Professionals who are employers and / or employees with questions. Because the specifics of employment law and recommended COVID-19 best practices are different state-by-state, we have included a link that will direct PGA Professionals to the 50 state departments of labor for information that is relevant based on their location. Please pass this resource along to anyone looking for resources related to employment issues during these challenging times.
PGA OF AMERICA 3/20 VIDEO UPDATE: https://resources.pga.org/my-membership/coronavirus-resources-members
Following today’s debut video, we will also be opening it up to questions from you to help us address the issues that matter most to you all out in the field. If you have a specific question, please submit it here. We may not get to all of your questions on next week’s update, but will try to answer as many as possible.
NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL GOLF EVENTS
2020 Masters Tournament: Rescheduled, November 12-15
2020 PGA Championship: Rescheduled, August 6-9
2020 U.S. Open: Rescheduled, September 17-20
2020 Open Championship: Cancelled
2020 PGA Professional Championship: Postponed. Click here to read the full press release.
2020 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Philadelphia Cricket Club: Cancelled. Click here for the full statement.
GOLF PROFESSIONAL NATURAL DISASTER BEST PRACTICES FACEBOOK GROUP
As PGA Professionals and industry leaders we get many questions in the face of disaster. It is often overwhelming and can create a sense of helplessness. This tool should assist all of us in finding answers and solutions to the many diverse issues created by natural disaster. It will serve as a building block as natural disasters continue to confront our industry, membership and personal lives.
The group attracted almost 800 golf professionals and industry leaders. We hope you’ll join as well and then share with all of your “golf influencers”…it’s not just for golf professionals (thanks to those who previously joined and shared the group). The more golf leaders we have in the group, the broader and deeper our scope of best practices…better answers and solutions for the challenges ahead. Click here to request access.