The recent Coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives. After long periods of “stay-at-home” orders and continued restrictions of all types, we’ve learned how to do things in a variety of different ways to achieve social distancing and maintain health and safety to avoid spreading or catching the virus.
Everything seems more difficult now. No longer are meetings held in person. No longer can we “belly up” to the bar and order a cold one. No longer can we gather with family and friends at our favorite restaurant for a meal. Weddings have been moved, altered or rescheduled and take-out food has become the norm. One friend shared with me that he hasn’t been to a grocery store in 4 months and orders most items online, only shopping at a small specialty market for meat.
Like everyone else, golf course operators and clubs have changed their ways. While some, unfortunately are no longer adhering to restrictions, many are and golf has continued and has enjoyed increased activity during the pandemic.
Among the modifications golf has seen are limiting carts to one rider, more push cart and walking players, no on-course drinking water, no bunker rakes, a variety of modifications to the flagsticks and holes and electronic payment of green fees, all in the interest of a “touchless” golf experience. Food & Beverage service has been limited to walk-up and take out, bars have been closed and pro shop activities have become limited to avoid patrons and members entering the clubhouse.
Some of the innovative things I’ve observed have included:
- Drive-in movie night on the practice range;
- Curbside pick up at the pro shop and food outlets;
- The EZLyft Flag Attachment
Of course, there are a variety of other changes and methods to achieve social distancing and touchless golf, including no buckets of tees, sanitized carts and push carts and more.
At Golf Property Analysts, we too have had to innovate. When people asked me if I traveled frequently, I would always respond by saying that I hadn’t yet figured out how to bring a golf course into my office to appraise it. Not so, anymore.
With Coronavirus making air travel and hotel stays less than desirable, we’ve done several of our assignments with the help of virtual site inspections. We’ve developed a multi-phase process that, with the use of modern technology makes virtual inspections almost as productive as physical inspections while eliminating travel costs. For a variety of reasons, physical visits are still preferable, but during these unique times, we’ve figured out how to keep moving forward, providing the highest quality professional services to our clients and doing it in a timely manner.
Yes, everything seems a bit more difficult these days, but innovation is what makes the world go forward and necessity dictates that we all stay safe while moving ahead. I suspect we’ll continue to learn how to do our job better.