Western Carolina’s first athletic competition amid the COVID-19 pandemic will start Sunday when the men’s golf team travels to Ooltewah, Tennessee.

The Catamounts will compete in the Scenic City Collegiate, hosted by UT-Chattanooga on The Honors Course from Sunday through Tuesday.

The following week, Sept. 27-29, WCU golfers will take part in the J.T. Poston Invitational at the Cateechee Club in Hartwell, Georgia.

Although conference competition is always in the spring, college golf teams typically play a fall schedule as well.

Western’s athletic department has indicated a desire to evaluate competition during the fall semester as it relates to COVID-19. The Cats are planning to play two road football games in November.

According to the NCAA’s Resocialization of Collegiate Sports, golf has been classified as a low contact risk sport meaning that the “sport can successfully implement physical distancing and universal masking practices during all sports activities.”

Teams are expected to compete within their own scoring bubbles as opposed to the normal intersquad seeding and pairings.

In addition to NCAA-mandated COVID-19 testing, other protocols will be put in place surrounding team travel, lodging, and meals, at least for fall semester athletic events.