The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship adapts to life in the new norm


The face of live sporting events has changed immeasurably in the past 12 months.

A global pandemic such as this generation has never seen has forced us to rethink the way we envision hosting an event.

The fact that events like the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship are taking place at all is a considerable step forward from a few months ago.

Empty squares, arenas and stadiums were the norm when Covid-19 forced all corners of the world to stand still.

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Slowly but surely, we’ve seen events return, and the UAE has been at the forefront with events like the UFC’s Fight Island series held in the strictest bio-safe bubbles.

The Abu Dhabi HSBC championship is one of the capital’s standout events, but this year there will be a very different feeling – similar to all other European Tour events taking place now and in the near future.

The most notable difference for this year’s tournament will be the lack of fans. Organizers and players would love it if fans saw overcrowded tee boxes, fairways and levels, but at this point it is simply not possible.

New norm: the players were in socially distant bubbles before the event

New norm: the players were in socially distant bubbles before the event

In collaboration with the local authorities and organizers, the European Tour has put together some stricter sporting requirements to ensure that their competitions run smoothly.

They created a bio-bubble for hotels that only contains the absolutely necessary – players, caddies and media play a huge role here.

The course has disinfection stations, social distancing, and masks that must be worn in certain areas.

Rapid on-site tests were carried out along with regular symptom checks, questionnaires and constant monitoring of all those involved in the event.

This is all put together by the tour’s medical advisory board, led by Dr. Andrew Murray and is one of the most profound plans in the world of sport.

Times have changed how long it will take to return to normal before Covid is hard to say, but as we adapt to “new normals” the hosting of such tournaments should be celebrated.

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