EVENT UPDATE AMIDST COVID-19
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, The Western New York PGA hopes to be as transparent as possible during these unprecedented times. Whether it is the Western New York PGA Section, Western New York PGA Junior Programs or PGA REACH WNY Foundation, we will announce at least two weeks prior to an event what its status is. Below is the list of tournaments or activities that have been affected by the virus’ outbreak and the recent CDC Announcement through April 30th. If a postponement date is confirmed, it will be added. We appreciate your understanding and support during this process.
- PGA HOPE Buffalo Chapter Graduation on Sunday, March 15th POSTPONED
- World Handicap Seminar on Monday, March 16th POSTPONED
- College Golf Seminar on Saturday, March 28th POSTPONED
- Junior Tour Event @ Midvale CC, April 18th POSTPONED
- Junior Tour Event @ Ridgemont CC, April 19th RESCHEDULED TO JULY 19TH
- WNYPGA Spring Meeting & Education, April 20th CANCELLED
- Opening Day Professional Drive, Chip and Putt Event, April 20th CANCELLED
- Junior Tour Event @ Greystone Links, April 25th RESCHEDULED TO JULY 5TH
- Junior Tour Event @ Orchard Park CC, April 26th POSTPONED
(03/29/2020) NYS Extends NYS on Pause through April 15th
(3/24/2020) Essential Horticulture Business Update
The ESDC, Governor’s Counsel, and the Turf Association’s actual granted exemption — “basic minimal course maintenance can occur.”
Please see below for official response document –
In Response to NYS Turf Grass Associations letter to the Governor’s Office:
On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the “PAUSE” Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all nonessential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Essential businesses are exempt from this guidance. Horticulture operations as defined below have been deemed essential and are exempt.
The guidance for essential businesses in NYS has been revised to include horticultural businesses.
For purposes of Executive Order 202.6/PAUSE Executive Order, “Essential Business” states “agriculture/farms,” which includes the horticulture industry. As outlined in Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25-AA Section 301, horticulture is a key component of agriculture and New York State farms.
For horticultural operations, the Department defines the following businesses/activities as consistent with Executive Order 202.6:
• Production, movement, maintenance, and sale of vegetable plants, nursery stock, trees, plants, and flowers at greenhouse and nursery operations.
• Tree and shrub trimming and removal for disease, safety, and public health purposes.
• The placement and ground maintenance of sod, landscaping plants, flowers, ornamental, and trees on residential and commercial grounds.
• Transportation necessary to meet any of the above functions.
• Agribusiness, including the sale and application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and minerals, that support any of the above functions.
Read Official Document HERE
(03/22/2020) Update on Pennsylvania and NYS Executive Orders
Update on NYS Golf Courses-
PLEASE know that this communication is simply to provide awareness and information. Unfortunately there is no concrete clarity in NYS regarding golf facilities on the list. Your Section’s leadership has NO intention to provide any sort of legal advice and we highly encourage you to continue to monitor the situation with your own respective club leaders/managers and owners and due your part to be diligent.
Many inquiries have been sent to our Section staff and leadership seeking advice and clarity about NYS golf courses. Please note, the notice previous sent at noon included a statement from the Erie County Executive regarding operation and matinenance of the NYS golf courses which is now outdated. NEW: As of Monday, March 23 all NY State Park GOLF COURSES are also CLOSED. All existing tee-time reservations are canceled and new reservations will not be accepted until further notice.
Pennsylvania Update Regarding Maintenance of Golf Courses –
Updated March 22, 2020 at 4:00 PM
As of this this afternoon, 3/22, we have received an important clarification from the Commonwealth.
Regarding maintenance, we have been informed that the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has confirmed that landscaping has been included under “essential services” and that superintendents may continue maintaining the grounds at this time.
Please note that these clarifications are from the DCED and are subject to change as the situation evolves. If you have specific questions, please contact the DCED directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-877-PA-Health and select option #1.
(3/20/20) Update from the State of New York
(3/20/20) Preparing for COVID-19 in the Workplace
As each day goes by dealing with the COVID-19 virus, more and more clubs and courses are being asked to limit hours based on the numbers of members or guests, shut down departments or even shut down entirely. We encourage you to check with your employer on their human resources policies and procedures.
CLICK HERE for additional information from the PGA of America.
(3/20/20) Update from the State of Pennsylvania
We want to ensure that everyone is aware of the announcement last night that directly affects our business- “All Non-Life-Sustaining-Businesses in PA to close physical locations as of 8 PM March 19th.” Below are some links to the articles as well as a link to resources for these businesses.
- News Article: CLICK HERE
- Secretary of Health’s Order: CLICK HERE
- List of Life Sustaining Businesses: CLICK HERE
- DCED Resources for Businesses: CLICK HERE
If there is anything leadership can do during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out.
(3/19/20) Update from PGA Junior League
In light of these announcements, and to stay true to our values of safety and togetherness, we are aligning with the CDC’s recommended timeframe and postponing the PGA Jr. League season until May 10th.
For full article, CLICK HERE
(3/16/2020) NOTICE FROM THE PGA OF AMERICA
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.
(3/13/2020) NOTICE FROM THE WNYPGA
In response to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation that is now present within our Western New York PGA Section, the WNYPGA Officers, Board of Directors and Staff are working diligently to provide clear and concise information to all our constituents regarding the start of our season and the many events that coincide. We are paying close attention to the suggestions made by our local and national governments, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control as it pertains to our PGA Members and business, and will act accordingly to maintain the safety of everyone involved.
Out of an abundance of caution for everybody’s health and wellbeing, we are postponing all WNYPGA and PGA REACH WNY events through April 15th. The Section Board of Directors will be meeting later this month to discuss a plan of action throughout March and April. Since this situation is extremely fluid, we are asking for patience and understanding as the status of some or all of these events may change in the coming days and weeks.
The following activities are currently postponed (All parties will be refunded accordingly):
- PGA HOPE Buffalo Chapter Graduation on Sunday, March 15th
- World Handicap Seminar on Monday, March 16th
- College Golf Seminar on Saturday, March 28th
The WNYPGA Staff will be working remotely beginning on Monday, March 16th. All operations and services will continue as usual from home, and we will maintain consistent levels of service. The safety and well-being of our members, staff, and their families is our highest priority. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
As you make your own decisions at your respective clubs, we encourage you to use these three simple goals to guide your decisions.
- Care for the health of your members, guests, and staff
- Prevent the virus from infiltrating your facilities
- Contribute to public health efforts to stem the spread of this virus throughout our golf and civic communities
CLICK HERE to view the direct lines for the WNYPGA Staff.
Stay safe and be smart!
Western New York PGA Leadership