“Keep the golf course open or not during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic”
We are in contact with a lot of golf courses. Just like the rest of our world right now during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the one certainty is that everything is uncertain. That said, in golf, we are in a very unique position. Courses, when taking the proper precautions, seem to be able to remain open, and some are even thriving through the Coronavirus.
We want to share with you from a collection of sources what we have seen happening.
“You can still golf during the Coronavirus - Just rake the bunkers with your feet. Golf courses are wide expanses where people don’t need to come into close contact, and are seen as a rare escape.”
- I was able to have a very interesting conversation with the General Manager at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo here in San Diego yesterday evening, Jason Vogel. At their club they have taken extreme efforts to ensure the safety and healthy conditions so their members can still play golf the same as other outdoor exercise during shelter in place orders. Here is just some of what they are doing:
- Riding carts are for single riders only and are being fully sanitized for each member use by club staff
- Push carts (walking is being recommended for all of those who can physically walk the course) are also being fully sanitized for each use and while they are normally a charge for members, are now free of charge.
- All doors around the clubhouse remain open so door handles do not need to be touched, however, the clubhouse is being considered closed and members are to remain outdoors as much as possible
- Hand sanitizing stations are everywhere in sight
- All food and beverage stations and operations are closed
- Social Distancing - remaining at least 6 feet away from other players is being enforced, including no pre or post-round handshakes, not even the dreaded elbow bumps!
- Not only are flags to remain in the holes to avoid touching them, but pool noodles have been put into use to make for more shallow holes so you only have to touch your ball to remove it from the hole
- Generous “Gimmies” are being highly recommended
- Bunkers are not to be raked
The cups at The Country Club of Rancho Bernardo currently - pool noodles helping to shallow them to allow golfers to only touch their own ball, not even the flagstick in removing it from the holes.
From WMBF, NBC News, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:
Steve Mays from the Founders Group International was quoted saying, “Tomorrow may be a different decision than we’re making today. But as of right now, we feel like remaining open is a healthy alternative for people who are in town today.”
Also, from WJZ, the CBS affiliate in Baltimore:
Many businesses that are considered essential have moved to contactless methods to continue working with their customers. Dominos Pizza is one example, and you can read about that HERE.
At Gallus Golf, as a relatively small business, very similar in size to most golf courses, we are definitely feeling the same confusion and trepidation during this unprecedented time. We have always prided ourselves on being good partners to our clients and to the industry in general. We want to help you find ways to help keep revenue moving at your club, keep your team employed, and most importantly, keep your business in operation during the coming weeks to months.
Our entire team has been brainstorming ideas to get our technology in your hands ASAP. A lot of our technology is proving to be extremely valuable during this time. And we are willing to get creative in making these options available to as many courses as possible.
Some of the features courses are finding exceptionally helpful during the pandemic are:
- Click-To-Order Food & Beverage: Allow your customers to order food from your facility from their phones. Food can be available for take-out or delivery depending on how you would prefer to handle.
- Mobile Tee Time Check-In: Reduce the interaction between your associates and patrons. With this feature your golfers can check-in and pay for their round right through your app*.
- Tee Time Booking: Allow customers to book their tee times right through your app. Best of all, this is your booking link with bartered times NOT visible - another direct revenue stream.
- Push Notifications: Keep everyone updated directly on their phones. Send them messages about course openings and closures, conditions, pertinent information, or anything else at all.
- Texting & Calling The Course Options: Give your customers the option to directly text or call the course for the latest information or to book a tee time.
How ever we can help during this time of uncertainty, that is what we intend to do. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or requests for ways we can provide help to you now.