As I sit here early on a Monday Morning, I’m recalling a few weeks ago, while enjoying a quick 9-holes with a fellow member at my club, we wondered why many (especially more upscale) private club golf courses are closed on Mondays (Tuesdays in some weekend destination locations). Certainly, it is understandable why those areas of the club requiring service staff and attendants to operate are closed. The pro shop and food and beverage staff have worked all weekend and deserve a day off. But, why shouldn’t those who want to play golf on Mondays be able to do so? Especially, if walking and not requiring a caddy, cart or any other services.
I’ve heard numerous reasons for this time honored and age-old practice. These include:
- “The maintenance crew uses Mondays to take care of the course.” – This does make some sense, but the crew is often done by midday, leaving the course empty with no potential interference in the afternoon hours.
- ” So the caddies can play”
- “The course needs a rest.” – I’ve never heard a superintendent use this one, so I’m skeptical that closing on a day that would normally not be busy is valid.
- “Tradition” – Some traditions are great and worth keeping. Others are not.
- “Outings” – It would seem that having outings or hosting charity events contradicts the previous reasons for closure, though money is to be made by hosting such events.
At those clubs where the course is open on Mondays, it’s usually quiet with many members, often having spent much of the previous weekend playing golf, are working, traveling or simply taking a break from their golf. Monday golf can provide a much more casual and swift round of golf, and can provide beginning golfers a time to enjoy the course and develop their skills without the pressure of crowded conditions and numerous onlookers.
Many clubs, however choose to generate revenue on Mondays from golf outings, which refutes the argument of giving staff a day off because they have to service the outing. It also refutes the argument that the golf course needs a rest. Most outings are “shotgun” starts and put the maximum number of players on the course, often with novice golfers unlikely to knowing or respecting how to take care of the course by replacing divots and repairing ball marks.
Among the challenges golf faces now is the difficulty of school and college golf teams finding courses to play and practice on. Mondays would be a great day for hosting these future club members who are more likely to respect and take care of the golf course and can garner the club positive publicity. Since they typically play later in the day, there would be no interruption of the maintenance crew.
Not long ago, I heard someone remark that his club used to do everything they could to say “yes” and that of late, with a COVID inspired full membership and waiting list, it seemed as though the club looked for ways to say “no”. Opening the club on Mondays could be one way to help reverse that trend, which occurs at many clubs and establish a “kinder & gentler” environment void of the unnecessary rules and restrictions that encumber many clubs, much to the membership’s dismay.
Since I really don’t have the answer to this question, I invite comment and possible reasons for Monday closures, especially from club managers, head professionals, superintendents and board members. Email same to Larry@golfprop.com.