Spectators have always been at the heart of the USDGC and over the years the event has attracted some of the biggest crowds the sport has seen. However, for the first time in the USDGC’s now 22-year history, spectators will not be permitted to attend due to limitations from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We know this is deeply disappointing to our USDGC fans, so we wanted to explain more about the decision.
The decision to restrict live spectators is two-fold:
1. South Carolina Restrictions
The State of South Carolina has issued a limit of 250 people for large gatherings like the USDGC, which is annually held on the property of the Winthrop University Recreation Center – a state run university.
When you add up the number of competitors, staff, and media expected, unfortunately that leaves little to no room for spectators, caddies, family, friends, and so forth.
2. To limit the spread COVID-19
Hosting a large event, even in an outdoor environment, is especially tricky during the pandemic. It will be difficult enough to ensure that players and staff practice social distancing, wear a face covering, and use other proper precautions. To ensure that the many spectators who hope to come do the same, would be nearly impossible. We want to hold the USDGC, but not at the risk of spreading the disease.
2020, A Year Like No Other
“This is an unprecedented year,” said Event Director Jonathan Poole. “Our leadership team is making the best of an unusual set of circumstances. In all honesty, we are fortunate that Winthrop is trusting us to host these important events on campus and to abide by the guidelines currently in place.”
In addition to the group size limitation, these traditional USDGC elements have been suspended for 2020:
- Opening and Closing Ceremonies
- Big Arm Big Heart Distance Showcase
- EDGE (Education Disc Golf Experience) Learning Village
- Competitor and Fan Hospitality Areas
- Tournament Pro Shop On-Site
Throw Pink Event Still Planned
Precautions in Place for Event
Face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand sanitizer stations are just a few of the precautions planned for players and staff during the event. More info on player and staff guidelines regarding coronavirus safety to follow.
Show Must Go On!
Despite the restrictions, everyone involved in the Championship remains as excited as ever for the first week in October. The USDGC and the Women’s National Championship, happening alongside, will be the disc golf season’s only Major events. We are working diligently to make Championship Week as memorable as possible, for our competitors and for our fans watching at home.
Tune-In to Live Broadcast
Though spectating the event in-person will not be permitted this year, you can still watch the exciting action unfold live through our online broadcast. More information to follow on that as well.
See You (In Person) Next Year (Hopefully)
Seeing the USDGC live is an unmatched, disc golf experience. Incredible shots. Beautiful backdrops amid an electric crowd of disc golf-loving spectators. We kindly ask that fans respect the limitations of 2020 and our effort to keep everyone as safe as possible. And certainly to remain hopeful that we can all join together again at Winthrop in 2021.