Planning work continues on the 2020 Discraft Ledgestone Insurance Open presented by GRIPeq. Ledgestone TD Nate Heinold and his staff are fully planning on hosting the event in August. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world and many people have been affected. This health crisis has caused many people to lose their lives and we are mindful of the tragedy of the situation,” said Heinold. Depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic plays out, the tournament could see little or major disruption. “We are fortunate that the event is still several months away and we have time to see how this plays out. Right now we are planning for various scenarios,” continued Heinold.
Those various scenarios could see social events changed or canceled, AM check-in adjusted to include scheduled times for players to check-in, instituting a 2 meter horizontal rule vis a vis other people, all rounds utilizing tee times, the AM payout being moved online, fans not being allowed at venues and other changes. “Right now we would love to say that we could host the event as originally planned but we know that probably will not happen,” said Heinold. Heinold also expects the PDGA to put out new guidelines for events to follow when sanctioning does re-open. Heinold has viewed those preliminary guidelines through his work on the PDGA BOD and says the event will be diligent about doing everything it can to follow those guidelines. “Our plan will include hand sanitizing stations at all courses if we can procure them, and we will be asking all players to bring hand sanitizer with them regardless. We are also working with a supplier to try to provide hand sanitizer in our player packs.”
This week Heinold was in contact with the various stakeholders involved in the event, including local Mayors, Park Directors, and Convention Bureau Presidents. All signed off on the event pending the COVID-19 situation easing off this summer. “Player safety will drive any decisions that we make for the event as it relates to social activities. Right now the models the state of Illinois is using show a decline in cases later in May where the modelers predict certain restrictions could be eased. Based on that happening we are confident the event can take place,” finished Heinold. The models currently show that Illinois will go below one case per million sometime in May. However, those models have changed over time and the tournament will be in close contact with local and health officials over the next several weeks to assess the situation further. Illinois’ current stay at home order is set to expire May 30th. The current stay at home order precludes gatherings larger than 10. “As long as the restriction is changed to 50 people we feel we can safely host the event. At 50 people the tournament would see significant changes and adjustments, and we hope the number increases above that, but as stated we are planning for all scenarios, while making sure we put the health and safety of everyone involved in the event first and foremost.” The 10th annual Ledgestone event is scheduled to take place in Central Illinois on August 13th to the 16th.