The Day the Coronavirus Shut Down The PLAYERS Championship

This year our day at The PLAYERS Championship happened to be the ONLY day of TPC people got to see before it was shut down due to concerns over the rapidly spreading coronavirus. It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon and I’m glad I got one last day out before everything was shut down!

17th hole at The Players Championship

We planned on doing a family day this year at The PLAYERS Championship and were taking our son for the first time. The coronavirus warnings made me feel slightly uneasy about the large gathering, but amid reassuring updates about hand sanitizer stations and other precautions, we went ahead with our plans. We have a friend who works for one of the sponsors, so we didn’t want to pass up the fun VIP experience you get with that. So apparently even a deadly pandemic can’t keep me from a luxury suite set up with free food and drinks.

Thursday at The PLAYERS Championship

The virus announcement appeared to slightly diminish the attendance, though this was my first time going on a Thursday. We usually attend on Friday and it’s always packed. The crowd was still substantial, but thinner than the weekend crowd I’m used to. We checked out the 18th hole and the Kids Zone, and then parked ourselves at the famous 17th hole to enjoy drinks and lunch.

Everything seemed to be business as usual, with an extra dash of sanitizer and latex gloves. We were enjoying watching the game in front of us, as well as coverage on the large TV screens everywhere when I noticed the big screen across the green was black. Then I saw several people huddled around someone’s phone watching what I thought was a video, but turned out to be a live news announcement.

It was a surreal moment that gave me flashbacks to my 9/11 experience. In both situations the world seemed to stop for a moment while everyone huddled around a source of information. Then it was the TV, now its a smartphone.

Things Changed in an Instant

The TV screens lit up again, this time with the news that The PLAYERS Championship would go on, but there would be no spectators after Thursday. Turns out, we would be the last people to see the PLAYERS at all because the next day the entire game was cancelled along with all gatherings over 50 people. The US was officially seized by a pandemic and drastic measures needed to be taken to stop the spread.

*Of course if you are reading this today 3/19/2020, or anytime in the next who knows how long, you know this was just at the start of things and daily new restrictions pop up limiting our daily interactions with the people.

We enjoyed a beautiful day at The PLAYERS Championship that Thursday, and may even have a new little golf fan on our hands. I told him it was totally cool with mom if he wanted to take up the sport and win millions of dollars one day. He said he’d really just like to hit things with that bent stick. Pretty much the same thing, right?

Hope you all are getting through this pandemic OK. We are mostly staying at home now and being diligent about the hand washing when exposed to possible contact. I’m trying not to let the anxiety get to me and not have worrisome thoughts about the future and the long terms effects this is going to have on everything and everyone. I feel like that day out at TPC was our last hurrah before everything took a very serious turn.

So stay safe out there and wash those hands!

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