News

Helping Golf Courses Thrive Through a Crisis

These are unprecedented times and we are continually amazed at the ingenuity of our clubs throughout the nation with how they’re able to adapt. The message is changing, sometimes hourly, from officials on what businesses can open and under what conditions or restrictions they can operate. While you might be tempted to say, “None of my golfers seem to care.” It is important that we do all we can as business owners to protect the safety of our customers and staff.  For those golf courses that are surrounded by communities, they have an even bigger job of providing the visibility of a safe environment to all of the watchful eyes around their courses.

We have compiled a list of best practices of our golf courses to help you see how other courses are handling this pandemic.

PARK & PLAY

The NGCOA introduced a program called Park & Play. For more information, visit their website for marketing materials and lots of helpful tips on how to prepare your golf course for social distancing.

PREPAYMENT

Change the marketing in the online booking to indicate that all golfers must be prepaid for at the time of booking. This can be done in advance or when they arrive.

  • In a time with services such as Venmo, this is not as big of an ask as it once was.
  • Here’s a link with instructions for changing marketing message for online bookings inside of Teesnap.
  • Encourage golfers to pay online by offering a discount using Teesnap’s Channel pricing.
  • This allows you to prevent social contact and have everything paid for at the time of booking, so they can arrive at the course ready to play.
  • If you’d rather, you can require that all golfers have a credit card on file. This allows you to check them in without physical contact.

CHANGE YOUR CHECK IN PROCESS

Teesnap was designed for courses to expand their thinking process on how they can check in golfers.

  • Consider checking in golfers at the first tee.
  • Have the starter line up golfers in sectioned off waiting areas according to their tee times for the first tee
  • Take payment for golf using the iPad at the first tee.  You can even include the drink cart in order to provide food and beverage.

PROVIDE DIRECTIONS

Things are likely very different for your golfers.  Provide them with directions, so they know your new procedures.  

This includes:

  • Signs on doors reminding golfers about social distancing in the clubhouse
  • Telling golfers how to handle their carts before and after their game (remove their own garbage, only use designated sanitized carts and leave key in the cart)
  • To help staff, consider putting a sign on the cart when it’s been sanitized
  • Remind golfers not to touch the flagstick or cup
  • Provide several queues in the line up to the first tee
  • Explain new procedures at the driving range, practice green and chipping areas.

SIGNAGE

Here are links to signs that you can have hanging up at your course.  They are located in Google Drive and set to view only. Please click on File, Save a Copy.  This allows you to save a copy to your own Drive, so you can make edits.

Social Distancing Sign
Clean Cart Sign
Check In Waiting Area Queue

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

  • Remove tables, chairs and sitting around around the clubhouse to prevent people from “hanging out” in the clubhouse
  • Change your website to provide your Carry Out or Call Ahead menus with an easy way for customers to place their orders
  • Load your drink cart and have it available at the first tee, so each foursome is provided food and beverage prior to starting their play.  With Teesnap’s mobility, this is a very simple practice to implement.

SANITATION

  • Consider going cashless where everyone must use plastic
  • Provide protective gloves to all staff handling cash or credit cards during all transactions.
  • Remove ball washers, trash cans, water coolers, bunker rakes, and other high touch points
  • Remove the driving range stands and designate an area with ropes or stakes
  • Remove scorecards and pencils – only supply with gloved hand by request
  • Increase the normal sanitizing of handles, bathrooms, and other high touch points
  • Reconsider the use of rental clubs at this time

ON COURSE SOCIAL DISTANCING

While the  golf course is naturally social distancing, there are areas on the course where bottlenecks occur.  If you live in a community where many are home watching, it’s important to increase your tee time intervals to help with congestion that naturally happens on the course.

PREPARING YOUR CLUBHOUSE

  • Remove all items from the counters
  • Consider closing your Pro Shop, so no one is tempted to touch the small available items
  • Remove bar stools and seating areas

PREPARING THE GOLF COURSE

  • Add PVC or a foam noodle to the cup to prevent the need to touch the cup and flagstick
  • Consider raising the cup 1-2 inches above the green surface
  • At the practice green, use hitting sticks rather than cut cups
  • Remove ball washers, trash cans, water coolers, bunker rakes, and other high touch points

PREPARING YOUR STAFF

  • Since college age kids have more time available, consider using them over your older and more susceptible staff members.
  • Have easy to read check lists near the check in stations. 
  • Laminate their instructions, so the paper is easy to wipe down.
  • Make sure everyone is following all proper sanitization guidelines
  • If staff feel vulnerable, encourage them to wear safety gear or stay home
  • Give staff plenty of gloves to use and encourage them to switch out frequently
  • Adopt a new method of greeting golfers that makes everyone feel welcome.

PREPARING YOUR GOLFERS

  • Use Facebook Live to walk your golfers through new procedures.
  • Over-communicate, so they are prepared when they arrive to your facility.
  • Send an email with instructions for new check in process.
  • Include images in social media posts

Additional Resources

NGCOA Park & Play Program

CDC COVID-19 control management guidance