The Old Course at St. Andrews has been devoid of golfers since March 23 when the Corona Virus pandemic shut down golf in Scotland.
Things are re-opening and come Friday, The Old Course will once again be back.
In a recent letter to its membership, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews announced it is re-opening four of its links courses on May 29.
The Old Course, New Course, Eden and Balgove will be in the first wave of openings, with the Eden turned into two separate nine-hole layouts to encourage nine-hole rounds. The Jubilee, Strathtyrum and Castle will not open at this stage but “will re-open in a phased manner in the future. The St Andrews Links will advise two days before these courses open,” according to Ford Horsfield, head of golf services for the St. Andrews Trust.
There won’t be any tourists on site. The courses will be available for yearly ticket holders only. Tee times will go every 12 minutes and only twosomes. No walk-up players.
As for other courses, many won’t re-open until June 8.
The virus cases were relatively low in Scotland, only 15,000 confirmed cases as of this week.
PGA Tour Gives Details For Its Charter Flights:
With the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour set to return to action, albeit without fans on site, the PGA Tour sent a memo to its players that outlines the protocols for the charter flights that it is going to provide to get players from tournament to tournament.
First, the Tour strongly suggested use of those charter flights by players and caddies. Everyone will be required to take a COVID-19 saliva test prior to boarding the flight.
Those tests will be given following the third round of the respective events and “only players who test negative for the Corona Virus will be allowed to board the flight, with no exceptions.”
Players and caddies on those charter flights will be required to wear masks or “appropriate facial covering” while on board, and access to each flight will be based on a priority ranking similar to that used for pro-ams.
The flights are expected to use a Boeing 737 aircraft, will have seating for 114 passengers, well short of the normal 177 capacity to accommodate social distancing. Middle seats will stay open.
Of course, the greedy Tour is charging for the flights — $600 a seat, a discount $300 for Korn Ferry players. Flights will leave the morning after play is completed.
Question that remains — will those big-name players who have access to private jets use those charters? Probably not.