ENDICOTT, NY – While professional sports continue to make their return, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open is not on that list.
NewsChannel 34’s Cam Lavallee tells us about what the future holds for the area’s premiere golf event.
Typically during this time of the month of July, En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott looks a lot like this.
Stands are being set up for fans, the entry way is bursting with flowers, and the maintenance team is working to make sure the course is in great shape for some of the top professionals in the world.
However, this year, the preparation isn’t needed and the golf course looks a lot like it typically does.
On April 29, the tournament committee decided to cancel this year’s Dick’s Open due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tournament director John Karedes says the decision to cancel the tournament was not one that was taken lightly.
“Things were somewhat clear in April as far as what New York state was like, and what it was going to be like in the immediate future. And as we sit here today, at the end of July, there are no second thoughts. We did the right thing. If you think about where our numbers were as a state back in April, to even consider going to New York state and asking for a mass gathering permit, just, it wasn’t going to happen,” says Karedes.
Since the cancellation nearly three months ago, Karedes and his staff have already turned their attention to the 2021 Dick’s Open.
“We’re working with the tour trying to secure what our dates are. We’re on the schedule, we just don’t have our dates locked in. But, it should be in that same time frame, in that August time frame. Once we have that, we’ll be able to make a big announcement. In the mean time, we’re trying to think of what the different scenarios are going to be next year,” says Karedes.
One of the biggest draws for the tournament is undoubtedly their Friday night concert off the 18th green. There is still no given that at this point next year, events like that will be able to go on with large crowds.
However, Karedes is already looking to line up a headlining act as if the show was going on as normal.
“I actually did talk to an artist yesterday. One that we’re interested in, one that we’ve talked to in the past, and they aren’t even confirming dates for next summer. They’re doing holds, but no one is confirming an actual date because, look, they want to be safe too. And at the end of the day, the paramount for everything that we’re doing is safety,” says Karedes.
Despite there being no professional golf at En-Joie this year for the first time in decades, Karedes is humbled by the continued community support.
“It’s overwhelming. It has been for 50 years. We’ve gone through tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods, floods again, and floods again. But, this is different. It didn’t mean that our phone didn’t start ringing with people saying how can we help, what can we do, how can we help those charities? I think that speaks volumes about our area, and why we all live here, and why we love it so much,” says Karedes.
While the course isn’t hosting professional golfers, it is still beautiful as ever, and open to the public.
At En-Joie Golf Club in Endicott, Cam Lavallee, NewsChannel 34.