Backswing RoundUp

How are you coping with the shift in your business and the golf industry right now? Any specific things you have changed as a result of this unforeseen shift?

How are you coping with the shift in your business and the golf industry right now? Any specific things you have changed as a result of this unforeseen shift?
With the current pandemic of COVID-19, many golf courses and golf instructors are facing tough situations. We asked a few golf professionals from around the country how they are coping with the change in circumstances.

It's a new world for the golf industry

With the issues surrounding Covid 19, a lot has changed in the golf industry. The course at which I teach, DragonRidge CC in Henderson, Nevada, is still open. The restrictions are members only, no outside play or charity tournaments for awhile. Golf cars will be one person only. No rake, tees or anything else that could be touched by multiple people, and don’t even think about touching the flagstick.

My business has changed quite a bit, although I am still able to teach. I have a large, active junior program with five group sessions per week and a fitness program also. There were five PGA Junior League teams with about 55 kids signed up in my own league. Both of those are on hold for now. Hopefully we will be able to start those activities in the next month or so. Most likely with social distancing in place.

I am a complete hopeless optimist and would love to think that some activities could start back up in 30 to 60 days.

Until then, disinfecting everything frequently, washing hands between customers and social distancing are a new way of life.

Stay safe everyone,
Mike Davis

DragonRidge Country Club

Mike Davis

Director of Instruction

DragonRidge Country Club, Henderson, NV

Major Changes!

Two of us have moved from the golf shop to the grounds crew, also going from salary to hourly. Clubhouse is completely closed, no pull carts or carts, ball washers are covered with trash bags, practice range is closed, yet Wednesday, we had 110 members play!
They want to get out of the house! It’s a different world!

Brookshire Golf Club

Rich Waite

Head Teaching Professional

Brookshire Golf Club, Carmel, IN

Daily lesson schedule.

I have closed my lesson tee until further notice. I’m have a heart condition that puts me at higher risk. Teaching involves close personal contact and I, for one, am not willing to take that risk. Please stay safe everyone!

The Rookery At Marco

Dennis Clark

PGA Master Professional

The Rookery At Marco, Naples, FL

A Shift in Business

Uncertain times will always create a change in business. As more golfers are staying at home and disposable income is drying up, it is important for golf courses and coaches to find ways to make their services accessible and affordable, while staying profitable. Myself and a coworker are using this as an opportunity to create an online content site that people pay a small monthly fee. We had discussed the idea previously, but didn’t have the motivation to go through with the idea. Now that we don’t have access to our students in person, we believe it is the right time to create a digital platform that allows us to remain connected with our students.

We believe it is the right decision long term for our business and our students. If a student does not want to pay to come take a lesson 2-4 times a month, they now have the option to take a lesson every 4-6 weeks and supplement it with our online service. This way we are still bringing in revenue, despite the downturn in lesson volume from individual students. I am personally very excited about this project and look forward to seeing the creative solutions that the golf industry comes up with to thrive in uncertain times.

Hunting Hills Country Club

Peter Weisel

Director of Instruction

Hunting Hills Golf Academy, Roanoke, VA

Adapt and Evolve

Any business or personal plan must be able to adapt and evolve with the changing circumstances that surround you. Golf presents the same, changing circumstances with each round, with each shot. Knowing that I wanted to reduce the actual time I spend on the tee or on the course coaching, I began a new program January 1 of this year that is about remote and virtual coaching (see link).

Luckily, my golf facility remains open, so I can coach. The clients coming from out of town have either cancelled or rescheduled. I hope local and regional clientele take advantage of golf facilities that remain open and realize this is an opportune time to improve their golf skills.

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John Hughes Golf

John Hughes

PGA Master Professional

President, North Florida Section – PGA of America

John Hughes Golf, Kissimmee, FL

Carry on! Golf is good Therapy.

OUR CHOICE IS TO CARRY ON
Greetings all. We hope you and your families are all safe and in good health.

This an interesting and challenging time in all of our lives, and I believe we will get through this and have a better world when this “thing” is well behind us. Perhaps we will all have a much greater appreciation for everything!! In the meantime, we need to carry on and remember to stay safe and fit both physically and mentally.

The game of golf is good therapy for both.

Assuming that all will be considerate and use good care and common sense, a golf course can be set up with raised cups, no rakes and an extended the “gimme” circle of 5 feet, and no touching the flagstick! If the area government allows and as circumstances dictate, individuals may choose to get out and recreate. If you can’t afford to pay right now (shop is set up outside) or don’t want any contact, I will take care of the fees for you, or you can square it up later. We all must abide by our local government mandates. So when acceptable, recreation (golf) is good for the mind , body, and soul!

Also, I feel regardless of your ability to get to the golf course, you can still have productive practice and a golf-specific workout at home.
I recommend you develop a program that includes practicing your putting skills,(on the carpet) chipping,(in the back yard or on the porch) as well as full swing feel and flexibility (definitely in the yard!) for a number of reasons.

1 It promotes health and fitness,

2 It is good therapy to keep your mind focused and committed to your quality of life and the game of golf. Recreation is important to happiness and well being!

3 It will keep you in touch with your game and confidence when playing becomes available again. You might even improve if you take my advice and practice exaggerated good habits! ( In an example, swing slow and smooth, keep your head extra steady and still, stretch out the backswing for power,) Etc.

I have also issued a TITLEIST home practice challenge for all of ou PGA Juniors and all students and golf friends. We award prizes for goals such as a sleeve of Titleist Pro Vs for five 10 five-foot putts in a row ETC.

Go to oldeschoolgolfschool instagram to view and accept. I encourage all students to keep in touch. call or message for advice on home practice or just to talk golf!

Go well . Be safe and healthy
Bob K

Olde School Golf School

Bob Kotowski

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Instruction

Olde School Golf School, Buellton, CA

On Line Teaching

Promoting more on line coaching, instruction, in home content that golfers can do while they are staying in home. Make the best of this down time and use it wisely.

Steve Bosdosh Golf Academy

Steve Bosdosh

GOLF Magazine TOP 100 Teacher

Steve Bosdosh Golf Academy,

Still looks like golf

Our golf course is still pretty busy, although we closed the grill. We’ve made the standard adjustments like; turning the cup upside down (so you don’t have to reach into the hole), removed the rakes, made checking in easier, only reason to come inside is to use the restroom, etc. etc. As far as teaching goes, we’ve also moved checking in outside, stopped giving high fives, smaller groups etc. etc.

In Pinehurst the golf demand is still high from locals but the hotel/resort/spa business has shut down. Frankly, our number of rounds is about the same it would be normally. Golf is unique as far as an activity during the Rona virus scare because it lends itself to social distancing for obvious reasons of safety. If your buddy can’t hit you with a 6 iron you’re probably not going to catch anything from him.

Our prayer is for a speedy recovery for those physically affected and also a speedy recovery for all those fiscally affected.

Senior Director, Academy Development U.S. Kids Golf, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

James Hardy

Senior Director, Academy Development

U.S. Kids Golf, Longleaf Golf & Family Club

Longleaf Golf & Family Club, Southern Pines, NC

Caronavirus 2020

With the social distancing mandates and public and private gatherings no longer allowed we have turned to social media to stay in contact with our members and students. I have been making instruction videos out on the course and in my Trackman Simulator room for my membership. We send out a new video weekly to keep everyone engaged. I have also been teaching students online and via face-timing for those that have access to nets or simulators in their homes. We have also been sending out weekly articles covering an array of golf specific topics.

Saticoy Country Club

Justin Saragueta

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Golf

Saticoy Country Club, Somis, CA

Stay at home

The Golf Course that I Teach at was one of the first in the Philadelphia Section to close do to COVID 19. The Course is owned by the Township and they got ahead of this outbreak right away.

I live in Montgomery County and in the beginning we had the most COVID 19 cases in the state of Pennsylvania. Because of this the Governor implemented a stay at home order for our County earlier than most places.

I had a Teaching Studio built about a year and a half ago. I felt like, to a certain degree I was making myself “bullet proof”. The Studio allowed me the ability to Teach year round and during inclement weather in season. Everything was going along even better than I had hoped for. Unfortunately I never expected to see anything like this.

Like most Professionals I have a data base of customers. I normally send out Golf Tips to them once or twice a month. All I did this month was send them well wishes for themselves, family and friends. I let them know that I was here for them if they had any golf specific questions or just wanted to talk.

On a personal note, I hope that everyone gets through this crisis safely and is lucky enough that COVID 19 does not affect your friends or loved ones.

Be Safe.

Flagler Golf Academy

Rick Flagler

PGA Certified Professional

Five Ponds Golf Club | Flagler Golf Academy, Warminster, PA

Still Coaching

I’m still able to coach in Orlando just limiting the number of students and taking precautions. We’re not touching flags and wiping down carts

Nick Duffy Golf

Nick Duffy

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Instruction

Nick Duffy Golf, Winter Garden, FL

Time out to reflect...

Being indoors for the past 10 days when you are use to being out doors is a challenge…The golf industry is in neutral now and I’m sure when this issue passes, the industry will pick up where it left off and most likely have an upswing (no pun intended) that will be very positive…

Frank Panetta

PGA Golf Professional

Teaching Professional

CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, CA

BELIEVING in your TEACHER!!!

Your teacher always wants what is best for the student. Client, disciple, mentor, friend, compadre. We are here to make you a better player, but first and foremost we’re all committed to enjoying the Game of Golf, enriching life outside our lives, and to teach all the great benefits to your life and well-being that this great game will endure and bless, or bestow on us. Take a moment to relish your FAMILY, friends, and everyone else that has touched your lives. We will survive, as we always have. Give Thanks!!!!!!

Chris Rudi Golf Services

Chris Rudi

PGA Golf Professional

Chris Rudi Golf Services, Mishawaka, IN

Growing Social Media

Now that i am not allowed to teach at my facility (tennis and wellness has also been cancelled) i am keeping myself busy doing videos for instagram and facebook for my students to follow. I have recognize that these videos are being shared with friends and family. My instagram following is growing and getting good feedback.

I am reaching out to my students and sending them drills they can do at home or backyard. I am using the V1 Coaching Software for the drills. I know when we reopen i will have my students ready to go and hopefully some new ones because of Social Media.

Bob Usher Director of Instruction Grey Oaks Country Club Naples, Florida

Robert Usher

Director of Instruction

Grey Oaks Country Club, Naples, FL

Coaching

Our course is open. Teaching from at least 7-10ft from golfer. I have clients who’ve taken online lessons before so this is continuing and increasing. You can find me on Instagram rickwoodsongolf or Twitter @rickwoodsongolf

Sherrill Park Golf Course

Rick Woodson

Former Touring Professional

PGA Golf Professional

Sherrill Park Golf Course, Richardson, TX

Golf...A "breath of fresh air" during trying times.

Christmas Lake Golf Course feels very fortunate that the Governor of Indiana is behind the thought of golf being an essential outdoor activity with a high degree of safety if done within the CDC guidelines. He basically encouraged Hoosiers to get out and enjoy outdoor activities as long as they are done with social distancing. Christmas Lake is disinfecting all touch points on golf carts, encouraging individual riders, disinfecting all indoor facilities hourly (or more) with many other practices eliminating “multiple people” contacting common objects (flags, rakes, range items, etc…).

Being in a rural area, we are providing carry out food and beverage and actually extending hours to accommodate our local populous which has been very popular. The bottom line…people are here and smiling and in the safest environment we can provide in a small southern Indiana town. We are seeing families out together and friends together, despite remaining a little bit apart.

Tom Nelson, PGA GM/Head Golf Professional Christmas Lake Golf Course Santa Claus, Indiana

Thomas Nelson

GM/Head Golf Professional

Christmas Lake Golf Course, Santa Claus, IN

Golf cancelled

Currently, my facility is shut down due to COVID-19 until further notice.

Tega Cay Golf Club

Michael Stewart

PGA Teaching Professional

Tega Cay Golf Club, Tega Cay, SC

Get Your Lesson Without Going Outside!

Hello fellow golfers! If your golf course is closed, or you’re stuck inside, simply take a video of your golf swing using your phone or tablet. From there, simply log on to www.SwingEssentials.com and create an account. Upload your golf swing video and within 48 hours you’ll receive a virtual golf lesson from a PGA Professional. With a new account, you’ll also get access to hundreds of golf tip videos and the “19th Hole” blog. The first lesson is on us! We look forward to seeing your golf swing!

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AJ Nelson is the Founder of the Swing Essentials golf app

AJ Nelson

PGA Golf Professional

Swing Essentials Golf App, Centreville, VA

Angel Park Course Restrictions

15 minute interval tee-times, each person (even family, couples, exclusive of those juniors under 18) all ride separate cards, no coolers, sand bottles, pencils or scorecards on the carts. Tee-Times are available 8:00-5:00.

F&B available, window service at the clubhouse, snack bars, beverage carts also available depending on business levels. Bag are carried onto and off the course, carts by the customers only. No valet services.

Chuck Bombard

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Golf

Angel Park Golf Club, Las Vegas, NV

Security Job added to Responsibility

We are doing well as can be expected. My wife and I both are PGA Golf Professionals in the New York Metropolitan Area, which has been the epicenter for this crazy pandemic. Fortunately, both our families are healthy and staying positive, but it is definitely a strange time for both of us. We are both fortunate that our employers are continuing to keep the both of us on payroll despite the challenges of our facilities being closed.

I have been heading to work five days a week along with my assistant professionals, we are patrolling the golf course in golf carts. We are keeping neighbors from running, walking their pets on the course, fishing in our ponds, and children playing on the course. This time also gives us an opportunity to interact from the appropriate social distance with any members that are walking on the course.
We also are creating online videos to share with our members on instagram and social media to keep our members interested and involved in golf.

Tony Santillo - Spring Brook Country Club

Tony Santillo

PGA Head Professional

Spring Brook Country Club, Morristown, NJ

How things have changed.

The golf industry is at a standstill in my area. I went from teaching 50 hours a week to zero overnight and it’s been an adjustment for me and my clients. I’ve been doing more webinars and podcasts, and more social media work. I am also dabbling with online lessons, but it takes time to get the students up to speed. Plus, I am sensing many of my clients are not interested in working not knowing when they will be back on the course.

I’m also using the time to catch up on some certifications and reading.

Sleepy Hollow Country Club

Kevin Sprecher

Director of Instruction

Sleepy Hollow Country Club,