Golf back in swing with 95% of courses open

Many courses around the nation are asking golfers to wear a mask when in a common area and to maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet.
  • Golf back in swing

The game of golf is officially the first sport to come back in full-swing following the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly all golf courses, 95%, have reopened, according to The National Golf Foundation. 

“Our research shows that the [golf] industry did a great job of addressing concerns related to how the game of golf will return and return safely,” said Jon Last, President of Sports & Leisure Research Group. ​"Golfers significantly out-indexed participants of other sports in their willingness to quickly return to the game."

Many courses around the nation are asking golfers to wear a mask when in a common area and to maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet.  Some facilities are going one step farther. 

In Dayton, for example, the city said it will be limiting golf carts to one person and there will be less tee-times available. Additionally, commonly touched items like water fountains, ball washers and bunker rakes have been removed.

“The last thing anyone wants to see is an outbreak related to golf,” Last said. “It’s not beneficial to the industry or golfers. That’s why it’s more important than ever for facilities to be mindful of the protocols created to maintain a safe experience.” 

The National Golf Foundation recently sent letters to all its members, reminding them of the importance of opening and requesting facilities to ensure all golfers are following the new rules. 

The 2020 Back-to-Normal Barometer, a survey of 500 Americans conducted by Sports & Leisure Research Group, Engagious and Rokk Solutions, found a “positive statistical significant growth” in the amount of people who are willing and ready to get back to normal travel plans and would fly on an airplane, stay in a hotel, visit a casino or participate in a similar leisure activity. 

“You still have a sizable portion of the population who will be hesitant to do anything until a medical breakthrough is made, but that number is slightly over time,” Last said.

At this time there’s no indication that more people will turn to golfing this year even though it is the first sport to return. In fact, it will likely be more intimidating for leisure players to pick up a set of clubs. 

 

You will see the really engaged players first,” Last said. “These are the ones who have been chomping at the bit and our research is showing that those golfers are taking up all the availability at the courses. The less engaged player is going to be slower to return.”

 

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