Newcastle District Golf Association are hopeful of crowning an order of merit winner in December as clubs work to reschedule major events for the second half of the year.
The order of merit has been suspended since the Charlestown Cup on March 14 after COVID-19 restrictions forced clubs to shut out visitors and cut back playing groups to two people.
The government last week eased the restrictions to allow groups of four players as long as social distancing guidelines were maintained.
The move was a step towards normalcy and NDGA secretary Rod Carruthers remains optimistic that the order of merit can resume.
Teenager Hamish Ellison, buoyed by a win in the Charlestown Cup, was the leader on 290 points when the competition was suspended after three events. Fellow young gun Jacob Dundas (Toronto) was second on 270 ponts, 20 points ahead of defending champion Josh Robards (Newcastle).
"We have played three out of a possible 20 events so far," Carruthers said. "We need to get through 10 events to warrant awarding a winner. Only Muree has run it as a member-only event. The rest of the clubs have pushed them back until the second half of the year. That too can be problematic. We don't have a lot of spare space on the calendar. Some clubs may still have to abandon them or they will have to hold them on the same day as other clubs. If that's the case, we can't run the order of merit because people won't have and opportunity to play every event. We will make a call later in the season. Hopefully it's a goer. It will depend when things get lifted to a stage where clubs can go back to a more normal operation."
The NDGA representative program has already fallen victim to COVID-19. The NDGA were to play Lower North Coast at Harrington in a fortnight, followed by battles against the Central Coast and Hunter River.
"The rep season ends in early July and between the four districts we agreed to suspend the program, including the regional championship, and reschedule at the same venues next year," Carruthers said.
The Newcastle district B-grade and C-grade pennants competitions are also in doubt, but the Country Championship in Bathurst (November 7-8) and District Championships (November 15) will go ahead.
** Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy delivered the money shot as live golf returned to television in the US for a Skins game that raised more than $7.8m for coronavirus relief funds.
In a nearest the pin play-off for six skins, McIlroy fired his effort to within four metres to secure the spoils in Florida.
Players carried their own bags, wore microphones and shorts with a skeleton crew, of just six cameras, on hand to broadcast the event.
"It was nice to get back on the golf course and get back to some sort of normalcy," McIlroy said.
The PGA Tour has been suspended since the first round of The Players Championship on March 12.
Next is an exhibition match on May 24 at Medalist, where Tiger Woods will team up with NFL great Peyton Manning to face Phil Mickelson and six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in Champions for Charity - which will raise $15.6m for COVID-19 relief efforts.
The PGA Tour will return, with no fans, on June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Texas.