Survey reveals worrying statistic for public courses and staff

According to a survey, public golf courses in the US are not only closing, but losing their staff at a faster rate.

Jack Seddon's picture
Mon, 27 Apr 2020
Survey reveals worrying statistic for public courses and staff

With the global coronavirus pandemic causing lockdowns all over the world, many businesses are being hit hard in what can only be described as a once in a century crisis, but a recent survey has revealed the struggles for public golf courses in the USA.

The survey revealed that not only are public golf courses in America closing, but they are losing half of their staff at a faster rate.

GOLFNOW produced a survey of nearly 1,300 golf course operators in the USA that showed an 20% increase, with 42% rising to 62%, of reported golf facilities closing its doors.

Unfortunately, those who have remained open are in no better position according to the survey, with 39% of courses reportedly losing at least half of their staff. Last month, that number was just 24%.

The survey also showed that like many other businesses, over half of the courses are no longer accepting cash as payment, as it can easily spread germs, therefore online prepayment or contactless card payment is the only method allowed.

Whether or not golf courses should even be open in the United States remains a hot topic of debate, as many have called for the USA to follow the UK in closing all golf clubs.

A recent golf tournament in Arizona saw a 78-player field compete for a purse of $42,000, where veteran tour player Alex Cejka went on to win the event, but tournament director Steve Benton was concerned with the amount of social contact he witnessed.

"To be really honest with you, you would have thought there wasn't even a virus going around. I mean, I saw people shaking hands, standing close to each other," said Benton. "Seemed kind of casual out there.

"We were trying to get people to keep their distance. I think they just got caught up in the moment. They were excited they were here, they were excited they were playing. Maybe for a little bit, in their mind, they wanted to forget that there even was a virus. Go have some fun and almost put it out of your mind."