A business in your community likely needs help. There’s a good chance a pleasant family providing jobs for neighbors oversees the finances and operations.

Some states are permitting these businesses to operate under strict restrictions this spring. Other states are forbidding customers from entering the premises but allowing a small team of determined people to maintain a multimillion-dollar asset covering large acreage.

The revenue they receive comes in a variety of forms: individuals seeking solitude, families, friends, competitors, after-work leagues and sizable gatherings scheduled months in advance. The latter two represent projectable revenue. Not even the brightest industry minds can now project what tomorrow will bring for these businesses.

Think of the times you have been urged to support a local business over the past two months. Think of the times you acted on that urge. The family-owned pizza place gets your business once a week. You still ordered a Mother’s Day or a just-because gift from a local jeweler or florist, either online or via phone.

But what about your local golf course? If you live in a state where elected officials are permitting golf, have you played 18, or even 9, at a course likely suffering because leagues can’t linger for a post-round drink or two and gatherings are being canceled?

You work in golf. Your dedication makes it a better game and business. Most of you, though, struggle to find the time or a reason to play more golf. We last asked about your golf habits in our 2016 State of the Industry survey. Only 41 percent of you play at least once per month.

The amount of time and effort you put into the job is a big barrier to playing more golf. That barrier will not be lifted this spring or summer. Away from work, your life might be different. The kids’ organized activities are on pause. Your favorite team isn’t playing. Your vacation could become a staycation.

Just maybe disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic are providing additional recreational hours. Just maybe those hours can be devoted to something you have been putting off for years … such as playing more golf.

A golf course might be one of the few places you can take your children or meet your buddies as summer approaches. A golf course is safe and soothing. Spacing is easy on a golf course. Have you ever walked off a course and mumbled, “I wish I had stayed home?” Probably not. But have you stayed home and mumbled, “I should play more golf?”

Try playing somewhere different this spring and summer. Sure, you might have access to where you work, or maybe an industry contact is willing to secure you a tee time at an A-list private club. But supporting the golf economy in tricky times involves spending $20 to walk 9 at a local public course. Your business will be appreciated. Your mind will feel better.

Municipal courses are subsidized; dues and initiation fees sustain private courses. Those two segments account for 6,223 of America’s 14,613 golf facilities, according to the National Golf Foundation’s 2019 Golf Facilities in the U.S. report. That means 8,390 courses fall under the “daily fee” category. Small businesses dominate this sector and help make the golf industry unique. Small businesses in nearly every industry are collecting fewer fees this spring.

Golf courses, like other small businesses, are community assets. Small acts of support can help the pleasant people who own and operate one close to your home endure the hardships of an unpleasant spring.

Think and act locally within your own industry. You might rediscover the joys of a healthy activity while boosting a business that needs support.

Guy Cipriano
Editor
gcipriano@gie.net