Isolation is extremely hard for us. We are social beings whose physical and mental health depends on connection to others and being outside in the great outdoors.
We understand there are many things we can’t do now for the greater good of all of us. But golf does not have to be one of them. It can be safe as a walk in the park. In addition to following the CDC guidelines, here’s how we can do it:
• Golf course check-in can now be done by phone or online. This was coming; now it’s a standard operating procedure. There’s no need to go in a golf shop or clubhouse.
• Our clubhouses are closed, except for our restrooms, which are sanitized and allow one person at a time to use them.
• We’ve removed all the sand trap rakes, ball washers, and water coolers. There’s no common points of contact on a golf course anymore.
• We play with the flagsticks remaining in the hole. Golf cups are inverted or less shallow so when picking the ball out of the hole, the golfer touches nothing but his or her golf ball.
• Our range balls are washed in Clorox or similar type of disinfectant. They come clean to the customer. And the distance between range tee stations has been increased.
• Our customers can bring their own snacks and beverages if you don’t want us to operate like a convenience store with prepackaged foods and bottled beverages.
• We are spacing out our tee times so groups don’t form on the course or on the first tee.
So, now a member or customer can go from their car, to the first tee, just walk if they don’t want to take a sanitized cart, never touching anything unsafe - all while keeping six feet from other golfers.
That makes golf as safe as a walk in the park. That keeps many people employed. That maintains the well-being of many of our citizens.
Let golf go on.
The principals of Bobby Jones Links own the company - we are not driven by investor expectations and pressures. Our balance sheet is strong.
As a result, we don’t leverage our operational leadership across too many clubs. And unlike many companies in our business, we don’t require long term management agreements with large breakup fees. If you like what we do, you’ll keep us. For more than two decades our clients have renewed our management services more than any other company.