The PGA hotline will give latest advice on financial help to cope with COVID-19

The chief executive of the PGA Robert Maxfield
PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield who has offered support to golf club professionals hit by the closures after the coronavirus pandemic

THE PGA is working to launch a dedicated helpline for its membership to give advice on what financial help is available during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Robert Maxfield Mr Maxfield said: “This will be open to all PGA members.

“Run in partnership with the Golf Club Managers Association (GCMA), the objective of the helpline is to advise golf clubs, golf facilities and PGA professionals, and help them to understand what Government financial support might be available.

“The PGA is fully co-ordinated with golf’s other governing bodies and is wholly supportive that golf cannot continue to operate within these government restrictions.

“It is an unprecedented time for us all and the health and wellbeing of our members and their families comes first.

“It’s on that basis, and following the Government guidelines, that golf clubs, pro shops and courses must now be closed.

“These measures are designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus and restrict the pressure on the National Health Service.” Mr Maxfield added.

The entire PGA staff at its Belfry HQ is now working remotely and will continue to monitor Government announcements in what is a “rapidly changing situation,” the PGA chief said.

“Some aspects of the current guidelines are unclear but hopefully there will be more clarity in the coming days,” added Mr Maxfield.

“Since the outbreak of the virus, we have been working closely with our industry friends at the GCMA and BIGGA – the British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association – to provide up-to-date guidance and advice during this challenging time.

“Many of our members’ businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis on the back of a challenging winter.

“There have been some great examples of golf clubs supporting their PGA professional and through the helpline we aim to ensure they are also aware of how the Government might be able to assist them during this difficult time.”

The entire PGA staff is now working remotely and will continue to monitor Government announcements in what is a rapidly changing situation. Some aspects of the current guidelines are unclear but hopefully there will be more clarity in the coming days.

GCMA chief executive Bob Williams said: ”The recent announcement concerning Government support will present a lifeline to many golf clubs.

“Golf club managers will need to fully understand the support available and I strongly believe this helpline will provide clarity to not only GCMA members, but all golf clubs”.

The helpline will be up and running by Monday, March 30, Mr Maxfield pledged adding: “We will release more detail later this week. ”

The COVID-19 Resource Hub, located on the PGA website, continues to provide up-to-date information for its members.

The Belfry, which is the headquarters of The PGA
The PGA headquarters are at The Belfry, which has hosted the Ryder Cup four times

PGA tournaments off until May

All PGA tournaments and pro-ams until the end of May have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The decision affects a number of PGA Regional events at the start of the seaosn which club pro’s play in, and can earn four-figure sums, by winning.

The first national championship of 2020 is not scheduled to take place until June, when the PGA Professional Championship heads to the Duke’s Course at St Andrew’s, from June 16-19 at the same time as the Women’s PGA Professional.

Nine events in Midlands Region have been postponed, including its two Qualifying School events and the first two events in the Seniors and Trainees Order of Merits.

Four PGA Yorkshire events have been postponed – including the Sheffield Masters at Rotherham GC, on April 7, and another five cancelled including of the Players Tour events.

The PGA head office at The Belfy a d its five regional offices in England – as well as those in Scotland and Ireland – closed on Tuesday.

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