42% of golf courses closed due to coronavirus pandemic

A recent survey of golf courses done by GOLF Business Solutions, which runs GolfNow, shows that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak has been substantial, with 42% of courses closed and 59% of clubs that remain open having seen a decline in rounds. 

More than 800 courses responded to the survey, with 324 reporting they are closed for golf. Nearly 300 reported rounds being down, with half reporting a loss of 500 rounds or more. Meanwhile, 115 courses or 23% said rounds are up.

Courses were affected in other ways, too. About 51% of courses said that golf is allowed to be played, but they’ve made changes, such as restricting the touching of flag sticks and/or cups. That’s done to prevent possible contact with the virus.

Only 6.8% said they were operating normally.

And it’s not just the golf side of operations facing challenges. When it comes to food and beverage, nearly 400 said they have stopped that service entirely. Nearly 250 courses offer take-out. Just 11 said they were unchanged.

NBC-owned GOLF Business Solutions is working to help courses stay up to speed when it comes to the pandemic and is offering is offering key research data. GolfNow is the largest online tee-time marketplace in the world, which allows it to have such insight.

Initially, there was hope that golf courses would not be impacted harshly because they are open spaces that would seemingly allow for social distancing to be practiced.  However, many states are shutting them down because they are wary if that’s actually true.

Meanwhile, many course operators are asking state officials to reconsider such orders because they are taking measures to abide with social distancing. Some, for instance, are not allowing carts. 

To help operators moving forward, GOLF Business Solutions is offering an online-accessible market comparison report. Golf operators can see daily performances year-over-year. Course operators can track this both in their markets and nationally. This will be updated daily, it said.

It's also offering updated news on the situation.

“Because of our position within the industry and our connection to valued partners, like youGOLF Business Solutions recently has taken steps to combine our resources in order to offer you access to dependable, real-time news and information during these unusual times,” the company said in a statement.

GolfNow is also offering course that posts tee times online the option to switch its entire online inventory to pre-paid. 

“If you are not a GolfNow partner, you are still welcome to utilize this service at no cost,” the company said.

By pre-paying, customers don’t have to interact with staff. “As for golfers, they get added peace of mind and the potential convenience of going directly to the tee upon arrival at your facility,” the company noted.









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