USGA TM OPEN TEE TIMES FACILITATES ‘CONTACTLESS’ GOLF
With the challenges posed by COVID-19 and social distancing mandates, clubs are looking for creative solutions to facilitate “contactless” golf. One way to accomplish this goal, and simultaneously manage the number of golfers on the property, is by using tee times for daily member play.
While many clubs currently use tee times, those clubs who have traditionally avoided the use of tee sheets are now searching for a way to manage daily member play in a safe and effective manner. The Open Tee Times feature in USGA TM Club Premium can help provide a solution.
Open Tee Times was originally designed for leagues and events to allow golfers to go online and view and select available tee times for a round. Given the current situation, we are now also seeing it successfully used as a temporary tee sheet solution for daily member play.
Using Open Tee Times is easy for both the club operator and the member. While it does not attempt to compete with robust tee sheet software products, it has proven to be an effective temporary solution for many clubs during these challenging times.
DEADLINE NEARS FOR CLUB WHS AUTHORIZATION
The World Handicap System (WHS) Online Seminar focuses on the new WHS, and is designed to provide the information needed to administer the Rules of Handicapping at the golf club level.
The seminar consists of four total parts, and after completing each section, a link to the next video will become available. Additional details will be provided at the beginning of Part 1. After completing Part 4, a link will then be provided to a 20-question quiz and a score of at least 80% is required for a golf club to satisfy the education requirement to use the WHS.
All clubs must complete this education requirement and take the quiz and become authorized to issue WHS Handicap Indexes by June 30, 2020.
USGA GREEN SECTION GPS SERVICE HELPS MANAGE CLUB RESOURCES
The good news is that golf is back in all 50 states. The bad news is that many courses are operating with a reduced maintenance staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While maintaining a golf course with fewer employees and resources is a short-term adjustment to the current situation, it may also represent a new business model at some facilities.
One of the challenges of operating with fewer staff members is the potentially negative impact on course conditions and playing quality. The USGA GPS Service can identify where golfers are not going on your course and help identify opportunities to shift resources from low-priority areas to parts of the course that regularly come into play.
Definitive knowledge of golfer traffic, as mapped out the USGA GPS Service, can help facility managers in making sure resources are being applied to the areas that have the greatest impact on golfer satisfaction, ensuring players walk off the course happy and eager to return.
In addition to providing benefits for superintendents, information about golfer traffic also can help facility managers to better understand their customers and their on-course behavior, such as which tees they are playing from.
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GOLF INDUSTRY’S ‘BACK2GOLF’ GUIDELINES AND OPERATIONS PLAYBOOK
As part of an industry-wide collaboration to lead the responsible return of golf in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game’s allied organizations have established “Back2Golf,” a plan outlining operational guidelines for golf’s 16,000-plus facilities that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.
Back2Golf is driven by key stakeholders of WE ARE GOLF, a division of the World Golf Foundation created in 2010 to spearhead initiatives on behalf of the game. Organizations include PGA of America, USGA, PGA TOUR, LPGA, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA), and Club Management Association of America (CMAA), among others.
After review from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), golf leaders and medical experts, the game’s national organizations have adopted a three-phase approach for golf’s careful reopening, focused on prolonged social distancing and enhanced sanitization practices to responsibly protect golfers, employees and all members of the community.