Helping Golf Courses Navigate Challenges Presented by COVID-19

Golf courses across the U.S. that are remaining open during the current COVID-19 health situation are getting some extra help through technology and services offered by GOLF Business Solutions to keep their staff and golfers safer.

As the world’s largest online tee time marketplace, GOLFNOW holds a unique position in the industry. Its connection to more than 9,000 golf course operations around the globe provides access to real-time market data any day, any time, which helps golf course operators make better-informed decisions about their businesses. This dynamic data is not available to any other organization, which must rely on information from polling and telephone surveys that can become obsolete soon after it’s collected. Additionally, the GOLFNOW sales team has “boots on the ground” in localities around the world and are continually taking the pulse of golf course operators in their respective areas.

GOLF Business Solutions also is offering any golf course posting tee times online with the option to switch its entire online tee-time inventory to pre-paid. This choice will allow golf course operators to adhere to social-distancing protocols – keeping their staff and golfers safer – while giving their golfers a “touchless” option for playing golf; in many cases, allowing them to go right from the parking lot to the first tee. There is no additional cost for this service, only the standard credit-card processing fees any business incurs when facilitating payments this way.

“These golf courses are trying to maintain viable businesses while also working to safeguard the health and safety of their staff and their customers, so they are facing an entirely new set of challenges,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GOLFNOW. “We’ve been able to provide some of our existing technology in new ways in order to give them options and help them navigate these challenges more successfully, as well as give both golf courses and golfers added peace of mind.”

“We are making our operation the safest possible with the payment on file (credit card),” said Tim Doppler, Director of Golf Operations for the City of Bismarck, N.D. “We have set things up so people are required to put a card on file and they are buying range balls over the phone … we are delivering them to the range and everyone is as safe as can be. This has been the only way we can be open.”

Doppler also mentioned that he will continue to sell green fees and season passes in the same pre-paid fashion into the future.

Additionally, as government directives in certain states are requiring the closure of bars and restaurants, GOLFNOW is offering golf courses with dining facilities the ability to keep their kitchens open. Through its burgeoning SmartPlay service, which is available to courses using GOLF Business Solutions’ G1 course management technology, courses can continue to offer food via delivery, both on the golf course and, in some cases, within the community.

Todd Creek Golf Club, a full-service golf course facility located in Thorton, Colo., recently closed all seating at its on-site restaurant and bar as a precaution due to COVID-19. By using the SmartPlay component of G1, the club is able to offer food through a full-service window, as well as delivering it to golfers playing the course. Additionally, Todd Creek is offering residents of the surrounding 55-plus community an option of picking up food items from its clubhouse or having them delivered to their homes from a limited Food Pantry menu.

“SmartPlay has worked wonders for our community pantry that we initiated with the current pandemic,” said Jeremy Casebolt, General Manager, Todd Creek Golf Club. “Giving our community the ability to place their order online for pick up has helped ease the stress during these irregular times.”