Golf Australia and the Golf Tasmania board have announced that $75,000 of COVID-19 relief funding for the sport will be distributed around the state.

The funding comes from Tranche 1 of the state government’s COVID-19 Sport and Recreation Grants program to sporting associations, primarily focused on retention of paid staff consistent with an expressed desire to keep Tasmanians in work.

While many state sporting organisations made the decision to retain these funds to assist in payment for employed staff, Golf Australia and the Golf Tasmania board made the decision that, rather than retaining all eligible funds, it was important to support clubs and facilities across Tasmania through the pandemic. They therefore chose to work with eligible clubs/facilities to distribute funds equitably based on staffing levels.

Golf Australia interim chief executive Robert Armour was delighted with the outcome. “Supporting our clubs and facilities is our number one priority and we are thrilled to be able to assist Tasmanian clubs in this way,” he said.

“COVID-19 has been an incredibly challenging time for our industry – and society as a whole – and we hope that this financial support will ease the burden on clubs and facilities to ensure they can continue to provide benefits to the Tasmanian community long into the future,” Armour said. “Together with the Golf Tasmania Board, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Tasmanian government for their support of the industry through this difficult period.”

Golf Tasmania chair Georgette Chilcott was pleased on behalf of Tasmanian golf clubs and facilities. “All clubs that applied received funding and we hope it will help them navigate through this difficult period,” she said.

“Our priority is to support our clubs in any way possible; we also hope members will continue to enjoy and play as much golf as they can over the coming months to ensure clubs remain an integral part of the community.”

All clubs/facilities across Tasmania with paid staff were invited to apply. The distribution of funds clubs/facilities was as follows: Club/Facility, Amount

  • Bicheno, $2,002.76
  • Deloraine, $1,335.17
  • Devonport, $8,886.87
  • Launceston, $9,965.95
  • Mowbray, $3,340.65
  • New Town Bay, $6,753.19
  • Riverside, $6,232.66
  • Royal Hobart, $21,963.59
  • Seabrook, $542.78
  • St Helens, $2,447.82
  • Tea Tree, $5,124.28
  • Golf Australia – Tasmania, $6,314.28

Total, $75,000

Golf clubs around the country had been instructed at the end of March to close, in order to conform to coronavirus restrictions. “While this is a difficult time for the golf industry and wider society, Golf Australia is committed to working with clubs and facilities across the states and territories to ensure that we return a vibrant, strong industry,” Golf Australia chairman Andrew Newbold said at the time.

Across Tasmania, clubs are now able to function more or less as normal with the latest easing of restrictions.

US PGA Tour continues to be troubled by Coronavirus concerns

The second round of golf at the Travelers Championship in Connecticutt was overshadowed by virus.

The big talk of the day surrounded the withdrawal of two American players, one of whom – Denny McCarthy – tested positive to Covid-19 prior to his second round. The other to pull out, Bud Cauley, did not test positive but played in the same group as McCarthy on Thursday.

McCarthy said he felt symptoms on Thursday night while Cauley said his withdrawal was out of respect to the field.

It is the second tournament in a row where at least one player withdrew because of a positive test, as questions are raised about whether the tour can continue, especially as Covid-19 cases continue to soar in many parts of the US. Another American player, Cameron Champ, withdrew prior to the event this week because he tested positive.

The tour is testing all players, caddies and staff regularly and no crowds are allowed at the venue, although that is scheduled to change next week.