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COVID-19: Improvise, Adapt & Overcome Update May 2nd, 2020

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COVID-19: Improvise, Adapt & Overcome

Thank you for your continued support as VGA members, as well as your service to our nation. Given the current COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to share with you our continuity plans for the 2020 VGA Tour season as the world adjusts to this time of uncertainty.

We take our responsibility as custodians of this amazing golfing organization seriously. I sincerely ask that you take the time to read this message in its entirety, as we will need your support as leaders and stewards of our VGA family in the months ahead.

As of today, I am announcing that the 2020 VGA Tour season will reopen on June 1st, given strict COVID-19 guidelines that we expect and implore all VGA members to abide by.

The exception to the start date of June 1st is for VGA State Directors that already have scheduled tournaments between May 15 and May 31. In this case, we are allowing VGA State Directors to host these previously scheduled tournaments between May 15 and May 31, as long as their local state governments and golf courses have given them legal permission to do so.

Thankfully, we have an amazing team of volunteer leaders that have scheduled hundreds of golf tournaments nationwide on your behalf. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused some medical concerns, especially with regards to VGA members traveling around the country to compete and socialize with other players. As a result, the VGA will do our best to implement strict COVID-19 guidelines for all VGA members to adhere to for this season.

COVID-19 GUIDELINES:

  1. Limited Playing Fields (Max of 72 Players)
  2. Players must keep 6 feet distance between them at all times
  3. No shaking hands, hugs, fist bumps, or skin-to-skin contact
  4. Eliminating shotgun starts (tee times only)
  5. Online scoring only through GolfStatus App (no scorecards)
  6. Only one player per cart or walking only (no spectators or family members in carts)
  7. Limited driving range capacity (12 player maximum)
  8. No group photos (on or off the golf course)
  9. No social gatherings before or after our events
  10. We highly discourage out of state traveling for any VGA tournament
  11. No flag-stick removal during play No rakes in bunkers; do your best to fix the bunker with your feet or club prior to exiting
  12. Local golf course rules will apply (ie. raised cup, bumper cup, pvc piping or foam in holes)

As a team, our most significant concern is the health and wellbeing of our VGA members. In the event that a VGA tournament is postponed, rescheduled, or canceled, our VGA leadership will do their best to inform you well in advance. Tournament registrations can always be shifted to future VGA events by reaching out to our VGA Membership Director, Joan Tishman, at joan@vgagolf.org.

If you come into physical contact with other VGA members, please remember to wash your hands with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If you do cough or sneeze, please cover your mouth with a tissue or the sleeve of your arm. Do not cough or sneeze directly into your hands. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer readily available with you.

If you are sick yourself, avoid participating in any future VGA events until your symptoms subside. For information regarding COVID-19 symptoms, please refer to the CDC guidelines.

Traveling

As a globally reaching organization, we must do our part in helping protect other VGA members and their families. During this time, we are highly encouraging VGA members to restrict their travel to VGA golf tournaments hosted in their own states only. As a result, the VGA is postponing the 2020 Senior VGA Championship until summer 2021 and postponing the 2020 VGA National Championship at Doral, and all Regional Championships until the fall of 2021.

New Schedule & Benefits

Our new 2020 VGA Tour schedule will last from June 1st through September 30th, with State Championships being hosted during the month of October. Although our Regional & National Championships have been postponed this year, there are several advantages for members wishing to participate and excel during the 2020 VGA Tour season including:

  1. All State Champions will automatically advance to their 2021 State Championship tournament
  2. All State Champions will receive a miniature VGA National Championship trophy for this year only
  3. The top 2 point earners per region will receive an invitation to compete in the inaugural Armed Forces Cup in Pinehurst, NC on Memorial Day 2021
  4. Weekly opportunities to compete in the 2020 VGA Virtual Tour on World Golf Tour by Topgolf

The Bottom Line

As VGA members, you are the organization. Your health and wellbeing are our utmost concern. We need your assistance to limit your travel and contact with other VGA members at VGA Tour events as much as possible. We must do our part, as custodians of this community, to keep our VGA brothers and sisters as safe as possible.

Good luck this year on the VGA Tour, and I look forward to seeing all of you on the links soon. Be safe and hit them straight!