And why the death of golf has been greatly exaggerated
“Good morning,” I said as the door opened, revealing a young woman pulling her mask up over her mouth. She hesitated, looking at the variety of golf attire, clubs, and accessories in the pro shop. As she made her way to the counter, I could see the smile in her eyes. “Welcome,” I continued. “How may I help you?”
“Hi,” she replied. “My son and I needed to get out of the house, and we’re just glad that we’re able to come here. It’s been a while.”
IT’S BEEN AWHILE – The most spoken response in golf pro shops across the country. Well, in Michigan, anyway. While the Coronavirus has had a devastating affect on the economy at large, it has resulted in a surprising uptick for a select few businesses—one being golf courses.
Although, it didn’t start out that way. Back in early April, golf courses were on the same lockdown mandated by the Governor of Michigan, as most other businesses. But with the argument that golf is an outdoor activity that requires little to no physical interaction between players, the golf course industry was soon granted a refreshing pass by Governor Whitmer. As people rejoiced, owners of golf courses, quickly saw a return to business as usual. However, they were not prepared for what happened next…
Families that once enjoyed taking their children to the beach or bowling alley, or even the city park, were suddenly met with CLOSED signs and warning tape encasing park playgrounds. With limited options, Mom and Dad found their old clubs hiding in the basement, dusted off the driver, and said, “Kids, we’re going golfing.” And as bars struggle to remain open, young adults are finding that golfing with friends is a safe, healthy and entertaining alternative to the bar scene.
The golf industry had been declining in growth as the younger demographic chose different sports and activities from what their parents enjoyed. Many country clubs that once thrived, were struggling to remain open, and golf courses were quickly turning into housing developments.
And then came Covid-19.
Only time will tell if the growth of golf continues after the pandemic subsides, but as I send another family with young children onto the course already bustling with many other families and friends enjoying this great sport, something tells me we just might be growing the next Tiger Woods.
Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Women’s LifeStyle. Look for her debut novel, Chasing North Star in September 2020. Follow Heidi at https://heidimccrary.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor