It will be a long time before our clubs return to normal, or near normal – most likely not until sometime in 2021. Until a vaccine is available, which could be up to 12 to 18 months away, it may not be business as usual.
For now, members and customers will patronize the clubs they perceive as safe – ones that are taking extraordinary measures to sanitize and clean their facilities and showing their customers how they are doing it. What follows are our predictions of the second wave of Coronavirus best practices coming to a club near you – and ones in the works at Bobby Jones Links’ clubs.
• Clubs may name one of their key staff members the club wellness officer, or a similarly titled new position. This person will ensure they are following best practice protocols and will be responsible for monitoring the health of the employees.
• Thermal scanning of employees arriving for work will become a best practice. Testing each staff member for the COVID-19 virus may be standard once the technology is available. These tests will keep exposure to sick employees to a minimum and boost customer and employee confidence about coming to the club.
• Disinfectant wipes will be readily available to employees to regularly clean surfaces they often touch, such as keyboards, telephones, security pads, and doorknobs.
• Hand sanitizers will be ubiquitous. Even golf carts may soon have one attached to them just like they do sand bottles.
• Personal protection equipment (PPE), masks, gloves, and face shields will be encouraged or required, particularly for the F&B personnel.
• Club housekeeping budgets will be increased significantly to ensure they are deep cleaned and constantly sanitized. Making businesses super safe and clean will become a whole new industry.
• Plexiglass sneeze guards may be found on every pro shop counter and other points of high customer contact.
• There will be more activities outside such as concerts (socially distanced seating) on the range, fitness classes in the parking lot or on the range tee, etc.
• Incredibly, the handshake may be a thing of the past. Greeting members and customers will take some other form.
• Clubs will be posting videos and pictures on their websites and social media showing their sanitization procedures.
Once thing is certain: safety will be paramount. Super safe clubs will be the ones surviving and thriving as we move forward.
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.