PGA of America donates USD5 million to launch COVID-19 relief fund

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The PGA of America donated USD5 million to launch the Golf Emergency Relief fund on Monday, aiming to provide support for the golf industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

The body, whose flagship event is the US PGA Championship, has been postponed from May amid the shelter-in-place policies designed to slow the spread of the virus, pledged to match up to an additional USD2.5 million given by other groups.

A statement said the PGA of America contribution included all members of its executive team voluntarily reducing their compensation. The board of directors pledged personal donations.

“There’s pain everywhere,” PGA Chief Executive Seth Waugh said. “It’s how to get to the other side. The government is doing extraordinary things. The Fed actions last week were stunning. The loan programmes are very clever to keep people employed. The bad news is it may not be enough depending on how long this lasts.

“What we’re saying is, ‘How can we create an additional safety net?’” The fund will be administered by E4E Relief.

The PGA has nearly 29,000 members. But PGA President Suzy Whaley said it’s hoped the fund will help members of other golf organisations, club caddies and players on developmental tours.

“We have to ensure that our people are able to get back on their feet and continue to serve others down the road,” Whaley said. “Eventually, golf will return, but we first need to reach out and help people in our industry during this national emergency.”