We are hearing from many of our course clients that they aren’t sure what to do in these unprecedented times surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19). We’re all concerned for the safety and well-being for everyone in our communities and trust that the actions you are taking to reduce and slow the spread of the virus will save lives.

We know that for many, a round of golf represents an important activity that for the moment will continue to be enjoyed. If your golf course remains open for play and you are looking for ways to reduce interaction with golfers or ways to communicate to your customers about your Coronavirus plans, we’ve compiled a few resources to help.

Last Updated: 8/31/2020

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Should You Operate or Close?

  • Continuing operations is the most critical decision you will make. If the government requires closure then you should close. If they “Strongly Recommend Closure” then you probably should close and do your part to help your community.

  • Decide if you will continue with food service and, if so, determine if it should be pick-up or take-out only.

Golfer & Employee Safety

Tips to start outlining your plans that you can start today.

  • Remove Sand Bottles from Carts – Ask that divots be replaced

  • Remove Water Jugs – Have a supply of bottled water available for sale

  • Remove Bunker rakes – Direct people to use their foot or clubs to smooth bunkers as best they can

  • Cover Golf Ball Washers with a plastic bag and tape.

  • Pin flags must not be touched. Some courses are raising the cup and directing that if you hit the cup it counts as a made putt.

  • Close gathering areas and remove chairs from bar, restaraunt, etc.

  • No cash, prepay or credit card only.

  • Credit card machine set so staff can be at least 6 feet away using wireless Bluetooth processors or extending the cable attached to the cc processing machine.

  • Any customer touch point needs to be sanitized regularly.

  • Prepaid golfers should go to first tee, be checked in, and tee off.

  • Employees wear gloves and are trained to not touch their face.

  • Hand sanitizer is available wherever an employee or customer may touch a hard surface.

  • Consider no golf carts unless you can clean them with a medical grade cleaner after each use. Same for pull carts. If you can’t clean them properly then take them out of service.

  • Don’t pair groups together if possible

  • Driving range areas widened to provide 6+ feet of separation.

  • No Rental clubs.

  • Don’t share clubs, high five or make any other physical contact when playing.

  • If staff members don’t feel well then they can’t come to work, golfers feeling unwell must be asked to not come or leave if they are on premise.

  • Gather data on all golfers in case you need to make contact for safety purposes, email, cell phone, name.

Communication is Key

Customers and prospects have never been more tuned into messaging so its vital that you communicate across all platforms  (website, social, email, on location, etc.) right away.

Timing is critical. Message your customers now or golfers will assume you are closed or are open but not taking steps to ensure safety.

Detail the safety precautions being taken to assure social distancing and other safety measures. Confirm if your restaurant is open or closed and if you still have food available. Show how carts are cleaned. Detail your social distancing, payment and playing procedures in place, etc.

Reiterate that golf is one of the safest activities available and is something you can enjoy with family and trusted friends during these difficult times. It provides fun, health, mental wellness and can be done while maintaining social distancing requirements.

  • Email your entire database to confirm you are Open or Closed. Point out changes you have made to keep everyone safe along with why golf is a great activity.

  • Add a Pop Up to your web site homepage with the same information in your email.

  • Post daily on all social media platforms with focus on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

  • If you have the ability, use push notifications on your mobile app and/or text message platform.

  • Post signage throughout your facility indicating changes and procedures.

  • Update items regularly as the situation evolves.

Email Communication Examples

Below are a few examples of email communication that you can emulate to communicate COVID-19 to your customers.

Business Practices

Sagacity Golf is here to help you understand and document the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) for owners, insurance companies and the government.  We can provide you visibility into what is happening in your market and with your competitive courses. Sagacity can also ensure you are be prepared with tools and strategy to drive new revenue as this passes, we are happy to set the foundation up at no cost at this time.

  • Please resist the urge to discount the price of your tee times across the board. As long as your golf course remains open, and you demonstrate your ability to maintain a clean environment, golfers will play.
  • If you don’t have it already with your POS or app provider, set up a pre-paid system via an ETS or Authorize.net account. Sagacity can also provide functionality in this area and we are happy to assist.

  • If possible, set up a tent outside that allows golfers one way in and another way out with a supply of regularly needed merchandise (balls, tees, gloves, hats, etc.), bottled beverages and prepackaged food to go. If that’s not possible, restrict movement to create a funnel in and out. Allow golfers in one at a time with 6 feet of separation and provide hand gel and cleaning wipes after the transaction is complete.
  • Have staff verbally review all safety precautions taken by the course on cleaning the facilities, carts, etc. Also review modifications to play regarding not touching the pin, no rakes for bunkers (use your foot to smooth the sand), no ball washers and maintaining social separation on course.
  • Check with your insurance company to see what, if anything, is covered on business losses.

  • Check with local & state government agencies at the appropriate time about disaster relief funds, tax breaks.

  • Check with local associations on tax relief or other programs to help financially.

  • Encourage gift card sales… it will greatly help cash flow. Message customers that this is a great way to help keep the course open and jobs available for employees.

  • Be aware of your rights and responsibilities as an employer in dealing with this virus. Refer to NGCOA website for assistance.

Create a staging area and line up carts based on tee times and put names on golf carts that are prepaid online. Line them up so everyone can see as they approach the pro shop. If golfers show up at the course seeing that people who pay online get a safer experience along with a little bit of VIP treatment to go along it, I think golfers would appreciate it.

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