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Is virtual golf the future for professional golf?

With the current situation of COVID-19 everybody has been forced to adapt to the new 'normal'. What does this look like for the world of golf though? Well the European Tour announced just a couple days ago that they will launch a series of virtual golf tournaments in aid of charity! To do this they have partnered with Trackman technology enabling the players to compete from their homes. The first event takes place at the iconic St Andrews and moving on to Royal Portrush, Golfclub Munchen Eichenried (site of the BMW International Open in Germany), Valderrama and Wentworth. Spectators can watch the events via the European tour's social media channels and comment on the live action. I am interested to see how this plays out because if you have ever played on a simulator you will know that the short game is far from accurate and tough to adapt to.

What if the virtual events are a big hit? There has been talks recently that the corporate world could go digital, with everybody working from home companies have realised that they don't need staff in the office to operate effectively. Could this be the same for golf? The golf course is probably the safest place to be in terms of social distancing but the Professional tours have so much more to deal with than most amateurs just going out for a knock. The tours have said that tournament golf will resume in June but with some adjustments, no fans will be present, no rakes will be in bunkers and the pin is not to be taken out of the cup. It may take a little getting used to but who knows. If the virus comes back with a vengeance in the future like many speculate then could the regulatory tours turn to virtual golf as a long term option. Nothing is farfetched at the moment and time will tell. On the other hand at the time of writing this blog, many golf courses are opening up around the country and should the flattening of the curve continue we may be able to get back to our normal lives, until then stay safe.


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