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 CANCELLED
  • PGA Hope Instructor Training @ Gen Oak GC, April 27th POSTPONED
  • Junior Tour Event @ Terry Hills GC, May 2nd  RESCHEDULED TO JULY 9TH
  • Junior Tour Event @ Stafford CC, May 3rd CANCELLED
  • Pro-Pro Scramble @ Links at Greystone, May 4th POSTPONED
  • Playing Ability Test @ Tan Tara GC, May 8th CANCELLED
  • Junior Tour Event @ Holiday Valley Resort May 9th RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 29TH
  • Titleist Pro-Scratch @ Brook-Lea CC, May 11th RESCHEDULED TO JULY 6TH
  • Junior Tour Event @ Lake Shore CC, May 16th RESCHEDULED TO JULY 25TH
  • Junior Tour Event @ Wild Wood CC, May 17th RESCHEDULED TO JULY 28TH
  • WNYPGA Stablefod @ Lancaster CC, May 18th RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 8th
  • WNYAA @Transit Valley CC, May 22nd POSTPONED
  • Junior Tour Event @ Chautauqua GC, May 23rd RESCHEDULED TO JULY 8TH
  • Junior Tour Event @ Shorewood CC, May 24th RESCHEDULED TO JULY 1ST
  • WNYPGA Pro-Officer/Superintendent @ Ravenwood GC, May 26th CANCELLED
  • Lawrence Park Pro-Am @ Lawrence Park GC, May 29th CANCELLED
  • Junior Tour Event @ Lake View CC, May 30th RESCHEDULED TO JUNE 21ST
  • Junior Tour Event @ Downing GC, May 31st, RESCHEDULED TO JULY 23RD
  • Seneca Allegany Casino & Resort Pro-Am @ Elkdale CC, June 1st, POSTPONED
  • Lake View Pro-Am, Lake View CC, June 5th, POSTPONED
  • WNYPGA Stablefod @ Lancaster CC, June 8th RESCHEDULED FROM MAY 18th
  • NYS Open Qualifer @ Glen Oak GC, June 10th, RESCHEDULED TO JULY 8th
  • Moon Brook Country Club Pro-AM, June 15th, CANCELLED
  • Greystone Stroke Play @ The Links at Greystone, June 15th, NEW EVENT
  • Bartlett Country Club Pro-Am, Friday, June 19th, PENDING – ENTRIES ON HOLD
  • Chautauqua Pro-Am @ Chautauqua GC, June 22nd POSTPONED
  • Africa 6000 Pro-Am Invitational @ Kahkwa Club, July 13th, RESCHEDULED TO AUGUST 31st
  • Blaisdell Pro-Am & Open @Pennhills Club, July 20-21 POSTPONED
  • PGA Professional Championship has been Rescheduled for July 19-22 on the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas
  • KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been Rescheduled for October 6-11 at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

Golf Now Essential in NYS (05/16/2020)

As of today, May 16th, we have been given the news that under Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.6 golf is now considered an Essential Business in the entire state of NY – not just those in Phase 1.

Here is the latest verbiage online per order 202.6:

Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities are permitted so long as social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting measures are in place.

  • golf and driving ranges, except miniature (mini) golf, with food and retail services subject to the restrictions that are currently in effect within the region

Please Note: This order is only related to golf operations. For all aspects related to golf shops and F&B, you must continue to follow per the Phase that your region is currently in.  We expect that all PGA Facilities will all do their due diligence to research that HERE.

If you have any questions as to how you should currently operate, we encourage you to err on the side of caution per the below recommended CDC approved Back2Golf Phase 1.

NYS Finger Lakes and Southern Tier Regions Re-Opening (05/15/2020)

As of May 15th at 2:00 PM there is still NO CHANGE to date on the opening of golf courses fully in any of our regions (i.e. no carts, no essential staff, no practice facilities, etc.). We do encourage those in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier Regions to review the Phase 1: Retail Trade Opening Protocols (below) in relation to your shops. Continue to seek legal guidance on all decisions.

However, the “On Pause Order” for the the WNY Region has been extended through May 28th, 2020 and they have not been given the greenlight to start the phase plan.  Due to this, your Section Staff will need to continue to work from home through that time but will still continue to provide the highest customer service possible.

Federal Resources for You

(04/27/20) PA COVID-19 Update

Re-Opening of Golf Courses In Pennsylvania - May 1st

Today, April 27th, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced the reopening of golf courses in the state of PA effective May 1, 2020. For  the full press release from Gov. Wolf please click the button below.

On March 18, 2020, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board issued Advisory Notice No. 26, which provided guidance to licensees as to what type of activities were permissible during the state of emergency announced by Governor Wolf in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Generally, that guidance included direction to all licensees that allowing on-premises consumption of alcohol and/or food could result in the suspension of their liquor license. Sales of alcohol and food for off-premises consumption were permitted for those licensees whose licenses authorized such sales.

Consistent with the Governor’s announcement, the following is offered as guidance for those restaurant, retail dispenser, club and catering club licenses that are located on golf courses:

NEW GUIDANCE FOR GOLF COURSES DURING COVID-19 (April 30th, 2020) PDF

As it relates to the latest government programs, we get a lot of questions from our PGA Professionals about information on the Federal Programs that are coming out of Washington.

(04/17/20) NYS and PA COVID-19 Updates

NEW YORK STATE – Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 Specific to Golf

(Updated Friday, April 17th at 12:00 PM)

As of 12pm today, please take note that the guidance issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a as Empire State Development revised item #13 – Recreation and golf specifically in the Executive Order 202.6.

View Full Executive Order HERE

****Your local health department continues to be your best community contact for any COVID-19 related questions – Find your Health Department Contact Information HERE***

13. Recreation

  • Parks and other open public spaces, except playgrounds and other areas of congregation where social distancing cannot be abided
  • However, golf courses are not essential and cannot have employees working on-premise; not with standing this restriction, essential services, such as grounds keeping to avoid hazardous conditions and security, provided by employees, contractors, or vendors are permitted and private operators may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind and appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly abided
  • However, use of boat launches and marinas for recreational vessels is not considered essential

****As of the time of this writing (Friday 4/17) 4:00 PM, this is the only known information at hand. We advise each club to continue to seek your own legal counsel/advice to interpret the new guidance and all future guidance.****

 

PENNSYLVANIA – Supreme Court Upholds Executive Order Closing Non-Life-Sustaining Businesses

In a 4-3 decision dated April 13, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided against three plaintiff/petitioners: Friends of Danny DeVito (a Pennsylvania political candidate committee in Allegheny County), Kathy Gregory (a licensed real estate agent . in Northampton County), and Blueberry Hill Public Golf Course & Lounge (a public golf course and restaurant in Warren County).

Petitioners argued that Governor Wolf did not have the statutory authority to issue his March 19, 2020 Executive Order, closing all businesses deemed to be non-life-sustaining, and even if he did, the Executive Order violates various constitutional rights.  Specifically, Petitioners argued the Executive Order placed Pennsylvania businesses at extreme risk of financial hardship, threatened hundreds of thousands of jobs, and was unnecessary as COVID-19 prevention and mitigation practices could be employed by any business during the course of continued operation.

View Full Decision HERE

(04/09/2020) NYS Executive Order Includes Golf Courses as NON-ESSENTIAL

State of New York – Governor Cuomo has updated the NYS Executive Order to include golf courses as Non-Essential.

GUIDANCE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A BUSINESS ENTERPRISE IS SUBJECT TO A WORKFORCE REDUCTION UNDER RECENT EXECUTIVE ORDERS

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for-profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.  Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health (DOH) and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distancing measures to the extent possible.

This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development (ESD) and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business. With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the workforce reduction restrictions.

State and local governments, including municipalities, authorities, and school districts, are exempt from these essential business reductions, but are subject to other provisions that restrict non-essential, in-person workforce and other operations under Executive Order 202.

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” shall mean businesses operating in or as:

  1. Essential services including
  • trash and recycling collection, processing, and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats and other clothing/fabric cleaning services
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • bicycle repair
  • auto repair
  • automotive sales conducted remotely or electronically, with in-person vehicle return and delivery by appointment only
  • marine vessel repair and marinas, but only to support government or essential commercial operations and not for recreational purposes
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • maintenance for the infrastructure of the facility or to maintain or safeguard materials or products there in
  • animal shelters and animal care including dog walking, animal boarding
  • landscaping, but only for maintenance or pest control and not cosmetic purposes
  • designing, printing, publishing and signage companies to the extent that they support essential businesses or services
  • remote instruction or streaming of classes from public or private schools or health/fitness centers; provided, however, that no in-person congregate classes are permitted
  1. Recreation
  • Parks and other open public spaces, except playgrounds and other areas of congregation where social distancing cannot be abided
  • However, golf courses are not essential
  • However, use of boat launches and marinas for recreational vessels is not considered essential

Read Official Document – HERE

(03/29/2020) NYS Extends NYS on Pause through April 15th

State of New York –Governor Cuomo announced all NYS on PAUSE functions will be extended for the next two weeks. The state nonessential workforce will continue to work from home 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.

Horticultural Operations:
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 ra-dcedcs@pa.gov or by calling 1-877-PA-Health and select option #1.

(3/20/20) Update from the State of New York

State of New York – Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, all non-essential businesses statewide will be closed”

(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.

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