Your Actions Spotlight the Entire Industry
Having almost 80% of courses open for play is not the same as a "green light" for golf. It's much more of a "yellow light." There are still serious restrictions -- for operators and golfers alike – including many state mandates prohibiting pro shops from opening, banning the use of golf cars, or restricting F&B operations. In a state like New Jersey with 16-minute tee time intervals and twosomes, that's eight people on the golf course an hour. That's not yet "open," and golf is probably being provided "below cost" in some places where revenues are restricted to greens fees only.
More doors were opening at specialty golf retailers too, with accelerated store openings in certain geographies. But even as retail doors open, will golfers follow? Our latest consumer research suggests many will continue exercise caution and seek to avoid unnecessary exposure to virus risk. Details here.
As I'll continue to say, golf has an opportunity to lead by example, showing it can be played safely and responsibly in the midst of a pandemic. Course owners and operators need to keep following local rules and adjusting to our "new normal." And we need to continue to remind golfers that they're playing before the biggest gallery of their lives, as well-publicized screwups could turn the yellow lights back to red. (Article from the NGA)