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Setting the Bar: What to Expect When Golf Courses Reopen

Public Service Announcement PSA

It’s no secret, I WANT to play golf.  The problem is I can’t because of the “Shelter-in-Place” Order issued by Governor Newsom.  So while we pine away; waiting for the order to be rescinded the staff here at were discussing what to expect when you’re expecting — and unfortunately there is some good news and some really bad news.

Editor’s Note:  This is an OPINION piece.  All the comments herein are the express opinions of the author.  They do not reflect management or circumstances that may arise.

The Bad News

Bad News, first.  It pains me to say this but since the local and state governments consider golf a “non-essential” business they cannot adequately  staff the facility and maintain the golf course properly.  I would suppose they could but certain obligations to staff safety must be completed in order to maintain the safety of the staff involved.

Because of the staff reductions, you can expect trespassing of various degrees.  This could be a simple as a stroll along the many cart paths available or your ATV tearing up a fairway or two.  Or perhaps your local avid golfer who will use the golf course as their own personal playground.

Since this is considered non-essential services perhaps you cannot staff your course properly.  With Aeration season around the corner now would be a GREAT time to get the work done and perhaps open up to a pristine course but if you do that you also need to be able to combat fungus and other turf afflictions immediately.  With profit margins so slim and the sudden halt of any cash flow, how do you expect to pay for these much needed pesticides, fungicides and supplies?  So courses could actually turn out more scruffier than before the shelter in place; costing the golf course operator MORE to rectify.

Vandalism.  This is serious.  Neighbors know their local course is closed.  Many courses do not have fences that border some homes. It wouldn’t take much to tear up a green or two or perhaps a bunker here and there.  One could argue that insurance could handle that.  Perhaps, but who wants to explain this to a bunch of ravenous golfers after they FINALLY get to play a round after so long.  Not to mention the time, coordination and repair time required to fix the problem(s).

Just from these points alone one could expect a worse situation as we emerge from the “Shelter-in-Place” Order.

We can do our part though.  If you see activity at your local course and it doesn’t look kosher.  Call your local police to investigate.  As stewards of the game and of the courses we play it is our responsibility to help keep our courses in as good if not better shape.  We can do our part to ensure these golf courses remain in decent condition so when the time comes and it will, we can play knowing we did our part in some small way.

Now the GOOD

Let’s hope for the best.  Let’s assume the golf course has enough supplies to ensure they have a successful aeration and are able to maintain the golf course.

Imagine a near perfect golf course.  With the rains coming to Southern California I can see green everywhere.  Why not a golf course as well.  Given the skills of the Superintendent I am hopeful with this respite from constant play these golf courses could be near perfect if not perfect.

This Shelter-In-Place could be a God-send for the faltering golf industry.  Speaking for myself, I want to play golf.  I will play golf when they will allow me and I will continue to play golf until my body tells me I can no longer.  So given the fact all us avid golfers are this ravenous for golf, all the golf course would have to do is keep their golfing public informed.  It’s similar to what we do here at It is our life’s purpose to make sure you “Know Before You Go.”

So check back here often.  Be assured we will eventually get through this and ever hopeful it will be near perfect conditions when we do.

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