There is a lot of uncertainty around the consequences this Covid19 (coronavirus) will have over the game of golf, not only in the aspect of the game itself as we have already read in many different articles but also from other aspects to keep into consideration.
If there is something we have all learned from this crisis is that almost everything we create in our clubs can be seriously damaged without previous notification and solid structure.
In my understanding, golf club committees will be more conservative in our long term decisions and the commitment in the contracts we take will be better insured.
Either through an insurance company or by having an “exit” to that contract in extraordinary cases as we have lived in the last weeks.
The investments in clubs will be also more oriented to alternative streams of revenue that will support any new crisis involving the golf course.
Some of the recommendations I would personally suggest would be related to beauty, fitness, and health as there is a clear increasing trend in the consumption of these products as we can see in the below chart from Statista.com or at the World Health Organization website.
Global Percentage growth in cosmetic products consumption from 2004
Leaders in the hospitality and golf industry will consider more deeply the acquisition of certain assets, such as machinery (they might rent more than proceed with a financial operation) or even think about the outsourcing of services bearing in mind the human capital in a situation like this depends a lot on the regulations established by the government of a specific country.
A new epidemy of coronavirus in the future would be catastrophic for many businesses around the world and we will need to be sure we can reduce our financial and operating costs if in need.
The existing human capital will need to be a great support through the full understanding of the situation the company has gone through and specific training that will make staff much more efficient against a potential repetition of this emergency case.
Online bookings will continue growing. At Los Naranjos Golf Club, we have been working quite deeply in this matter and we can proudly say we are the #1 club in online sales in Spain, offering clients from all around the world the best rates available and a very safe purchasing environment.
Also, the rise of different OTAs (Online travel agents) can also be great sales support for different clubs by selling on commission based and eradicating the classic credit.
Greenfee365, for example, is experiencing a rapid growth in the number of golf courses available and it is already support for sales I would recommend.
The minimization of the credit risk is definitely one of the areas to have into consideration in order to prevent unexpected circumstances like this coronavirus (COVID-19).
Of course, these two points above and the difficult situation many clubs have experienced through the coronavirus will also result in more creative and hygienic ways of payment. Will this activate cryptocurrency? Time will tell.
In fact, I have heard about golf courses that have given extra value to their products by “creating their own internal currency” so they can promote the sales in Pro Shop and restaurants.
Loyalty programs have been a very common activity within the United States for golf clubs but for some reason, we have been general terms unable to make it popular in Europe even though it will be a good option.
In regards to restaurants, needless to say it will be crucial to recover the trust of members and clients by taking prevention actions that can be easily identified.
Temperature checks, disinfection of hands, capacity reduction, prevention panels, masks, schedules, limitation of groups and many others will be required.
The management of a restaurant has never been so demanding. However, there is no doubt also that this demand will result in the best service restaurants have ever offered and open opportunities to food pick up/delivery.
As Sam Snead once said
“Of all hazards, fear is the worst”.
There is no doubt the crisis awaked some of the fears of many boards of directors and also showed the weaknesses of many organizations.
We need to remember in times of crisis, also new opportunities arise, it is a matter of clarity of mind and focus.
Looking forward to see you all again after this COVID-19.