Is The Golf Industry In Trouble Amid This Current Crisis?

In Canada, like many parts of the world, golf courses are closed. Touted as a possible breeding ground for the COVID-19 disease, government officials at all levels have decided to close these facilities. This decision is a positive step to #flattenthecurve, however the powers to be should not make blanket decisions the will crush the future of the golf industry so they will have a chance to survive at the end of this very difficult journey.

There is a hope that the pandemic will subside quickly so the golf industry can get back to normal. Unfortunately, every day with zero revenue is one step closer to no longer being viable. I am not suggesting that golf be declared an essential service and be open to the public, however some efforts must be made to ensure that golf courses are in a position to open when the all clear is given.

A fellow golf blogger, Pete Robbins from White Dragon Golf, explained that his golf course is completely closed. This makes sense, except he also mentioned that zero workers are allowed to maintain the course during this prolonged shut down. This is where I believe the previous decisions by the politicians can be revisited.

The challenge for coal-faced workers and owners who make marginal profits is that a majority of their equity is tied up in the golf course. It takes a tremendous amount of work and effort to keep a course maintained and running. By letting the golf course go to seed by not working the land, it might not be possible, due to the cost and effort, for the owners to bring the golf course back its previous playing condition.

Back to the politicians making the blanket decision. As a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces, I understand blanket decisions. The reaction is to start with a very tight and drastic approach and then adjust the parameters as the days unfold. The politicians around the world are at the point where blanket decisions are needed to change the course of COVID-19. However, like all decisions, there should be an opportunity for some businesses to plead their case to allow some efforts to ensure the viability of their business at the end of this pandemic.

I will admit that my view is very narrow and I am focused on one area of the economy. I am not an expert, but I have enough experience to know that some businesses need care and attention to ensure that they are viable in a few months. The golf industry in Canada is one. We have such a short season that I believe it important that some workers are allowed to maintain the golf course to a minimal degree (following all safety protocols) to protect the multi-million dollar investment. If we do not allow for some sort of maintenance to occur, I am not convinced that the golf industry will survive in the long run.

To be a politician is to be second guessed. That is not my intent for this article. I fully support the decisions by my government to stem the tide of this pandemic. They are under a tremendous amount of pressure and deserve our gratitude to trying to keep us all safe. We as citizens, must do our part and follow the rules, recommendations, and guidelines to ensure that every business has a chance to move forward as we enter our new normal in a few months.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Is The Golf Industry In Trouble Amid This Current Crisis?

  1. Jim, Pete’s course is in a tough spot. You’d like to see grass cut and maintained so the place doesn’t go to heck. Certainly a guy riding a mower in solitude isn’t putting himself or anyone else at risk. It’s about balance and all governments and municipalities have different perspectives.

    My state’s courses are closed and I have deemed continual participation essential for my physical and mental well being (with distancing in practice), so I have gone to a combination of:
    Plan B: Travel to Virginia to play/practice
    Plan C: Hit wedges in my school field with my bag shag

    Good luck to you and your courses when you hit what would have been opening day!

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jim.
    The Quebec government has agreed to let a few workers on our Golf Course to prep for the eventual opening. Whenever that will be. Volunteers went out yesterday and help remove the tarp on the green so that they can start breeding. We obviously followed the government rules on social distancing and did not gathered after the facts. Everyone went home right after. We are very lucky that whenever this thing goes away that our course will open soon after and maybe salvage some of the revenues that will be missed.
    Jean

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jean,

      Thanks for the update. I am glad that your golf course team is able to get things prepared. Interesting that volunteers were used, however since you followed the distance rules, it makes sense that it was doable. I hope we are playing soon. Stay safe.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

  3. New normal. That about sums it up. I don’t know where we are headed, but for now, I’m thankful that golf courses are exempt here though a few still closed. I feel safer going out to walk a round alone then I do doing using the laundry room in my building so for now I’m planning on continuing though maybe just once a week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I agree about the communal laundry room. Not something I would relish using at this time. Playing golf as a single right now is a good thing. We just avoid touching anything but our own stuff. Stay safe.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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