AUGUSTA, Ga. – On March 13, it was announced that the 2020 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals had been postponed due to the impact of the Coronavirus COVID-19. After thoughtful deliberation, and with the guidance of public health experts, the Founding Partners have provided the following update:
- The 2020-21 Drive, Chip and Putt qualifying season, set to begin May 2, will be canceled, given the continued effect of COVID-19 on scheduling during the time period critical to the success of local qualifying. Ultimately, the Founding Partners determined cancellation was the most responsible measure to take in protecting the health of everyone involved in this national endeavor, which includes tens of thousands of participants, their families and all those essential to staging hundreds of qualifying events across all 50 states.
- This year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals originally scheduled for April 5, 2020, will be rescheduled for April 4, 2021, the eve of the Masters Tournament. Each National Finalist will be invited to compete at Augusta National Golf Club in the same age division for which he or she previously qualified in 2020, regardless of their age on that date. Purchasers of Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals tickets will be sent a refund in May and guaranteed the opportunity to purchase tickets for the National Finals next year.
“As deeply disappointing as it is for us to make this very difficult decision, it’s clearly the right thing to do for all involved,” said Stu Francis, president of the USGA. “We look forward to seeing everyone play golf again, especially these juniors whose talent, joy and drive to compete inspire all of us.”
“We share in the disappointment of all those who were anticipating the start of Drive, Chip and Putt local qualifying, as well as this year’s National Finalists, who worked so hard to prepare for this April,” said Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. “These decisions protect the health and well-being of the program’s many important constituents and were made independently from our Masters Tournament rescheduling efforts. With no qualifying this summer, we are pleased to maintain this wonderful tradition by welcoming these 80 boys and girls to Augusta National next April.”
“We feel tremendous empathy for the girls and boys across America who will not be able to participate in Drive, Chip and Putt qualifying events throughout our PGA Sections this year,” said Suzy Whaley, president of the PGA of America. “However, in the interest of everyone’s health and safety during this unprecedented time, the difficult decision to cancel the qualifying season is the one and only choice that can be made. We are grateful that this year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finalists will have a special opportunity to compete at Augusta National next year. These outstanding junior golfers deserve to follow their dreams, which they worked so hard to achieve, and we all look forward to cheering them on.”
Registration for the next year’s qualifying season is expected to open early 2021. For more information on Drive, Chip and Putt and future updates, please visit DriveChipandPutt.com.
About Drive, Chip and Putt A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, the USGA and the PGA of America, Drive, Chip and Putt is a free, nationwide junior golf development program aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf. By tapping the creative and competitive spirit of girls and boys ages 7-15, Drive, Chip and Putt provides aspiring junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers in qualifiers around the country. Participants who advance through local, subregional and regional qualifying in each age/gender category earn a place in the National Finals, which is conducted at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before the Masters Tournament and is broadcast live by Golf Channel. For more information, visit DriveChipandPutt.com.
About the USGA The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.
About the Masters Tournament The Masters Tournament, inspired by the enduring philosophies of Masters Tournament founders Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, is committed to promoting golf’s domestic and international development through financial investment and active participation in initiatives aimed at preserving the traditions of the game and sharing its many virtues. The Masters Tournament – since its very beginning – strives to provide added exposure to the game of golf and inspire interest in the sport worldwide. For more information about the Masters, visit masters.com.
About the PGA of America The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, with nearly 29,000 professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGAofAmerica on Twitter and find us on Facebook.