PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said he does not think that golfers, caddies or officials will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19, saying that it will be an individual choice for everyone and that "there's still an awful lot that we need to learn and we need to know."
"I think vaccination is a choice, and I would apply the same logic and the same amount of care to that subject as we have to every other subject, and that is to try and do our best to educate our members on vaccination and the pros and cons associated with it," Monahan told reporters. "But ultimately it's an individual decision."
This means unvaccinated golfers could participate in tournaments even once the vaccination is readily available. The vaccination rollout has already begun in the United States, though it is currently unclear when it will be available to professional athletes. However, if some golfers or even PGA officials refuse to take the vaccine, it may cause others to not want to participate, as there is still a risk that people vaccinated could be carriers for COVID-19.
This is a nearly opposite approach to what the MLB is experiencing. Baseball owners reportedly want to delay the start of the season, hoping that they can get players vaccinated before spring training begins. The tentative plan, which was reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale, would push the start of the season back to May and shorten the season to 140 games instead of the standard 162.