Kiwi caddy Sam Pinfold is doing what few would dare right now, travel to the United States.
Although it’s difficult for him to say no, when his job relies on being there.
Pinfold will head to the west coast of the USA isolate for two weeks – his third isolation since Covid-19 hit – so he can link back up with Aussie golfer Cameron Smith for the resumption of the PGA Tour next month.
“I’m a bit anxious, having seen the stuff on the news and what’s going on in America,” Pinfold said.
“But the PGA Tour’s a pretty class sort of operation and the emails and information we’ve got so far seems pretty thorough.”
The Tauranga-based Pinfold was enjoying his last slice of freedom for a while, having a few beers before flying out tonight. He’ll link up with world No.35 Smith after isolation, before the tour restarts in Texas at the Charles Schwabb Challenge.
Play was dramatically halted in the middle of the Players’ Championship in March, as Covid-19 took hold in the US. They’ve now recorded 1.6 million cases and nearly 100,000 deaths.
But the Tour’s taking every precaution to make sure players, caddies, officials and broadcasters are all safe.
Amongst other measures, everyone will be tested before each of the first four tournaments as a condition of competing, there’ll be social distancing where possible, regular temperature checks, hand sanitiser throughout the course and no crowds – which will become the norm for the foreseeable future.
“The golf course is almost going to be the safest place to be,” a laughing Pinfold said.
“I think once we’re on course we’re going to be perfectly fine, it’s just the transit stuff and the travel and everything outside the course that’s a bit worrying and where we’ll need to be a bit careful.”
And it’ll take on a completely new challenge for Pinfold and Smith, with tournaments scheduled away from their regular dates. The Kiwi says the conditions in some places, particularly at Augusta National, will be vastly different.
“Different temperatures and different grasses on some of the courses in different times of year… I mean the Masters is going to be a challenge for everyone.”
Pinfold and Smith will hope to add to their win at the Sony Open in January, when play resumes in three weeks.