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Golf reopens, slowly but surely

EIGHT weeks after golf clubs were reopened, following the conronavirus outbreak, things are slowly but surely beginning to take a turn for the better.

Speaking to a wide cross section of people from within the golf and tourism industries that are intrinsically tied to each other, one gets the feeling that with time (and no further setbacks ) we might even begin to dream of returning to something near the previous normal.

The protocols put in place by government and health agencies, to help curb the spread of the Covid-19, have been introduced for the benefit of everybody.

Even as the number of conronavirus cases appear to decline and government relaxes some restrictions, those that have been left there must be adhered to, if only to safeguard ourselves and those around us.

Speaking to a senior member of the management team of a Kuala Lumpur golf club, it was clear many people remain skeptical of just how bad the pandemic is and juts how much hardship it has brought to bear on ordinary people the world over.

“It looks like Covid-19 will have changed our lives forever,” said the club manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The upheavals it has forced into our everyday lives are only just being understood by some.

“But we should also mention that now after two months of being reopened, things are beginning to get better and hopefully this will continue until such time as we are almost back to what we were before the pandemic.

“It is also heartening to hear that other segments of the industry are beginning to find their feet and speaking optimistically of what the future may hold for us.”

In a recent interview with TeeUp, VK (Golf) Enterprise’s Anil “Sanjay” Kumar said from a small retail operator’s standpoint, there was an easing of the situation and then forecast that it would “get even better”.

He said we could expect a “further surge in overall golf retail” once the borders are opened for global commuters.

Indeed, several states around the globe have begun to reopen air travel, which Kumar says will only serve to bolster the golf industry.

Because of how the wheels of fortune turn in the world of golf, with more travellers/guests on the move, the better it will be for the golf clubs and retailers.

Almost all the local clubs depend to a fairly large degree on their members participation, but there is added value in visiting or tourist golfers, and with travel restrictions being relaxed, this will grow.

A general manager of a Subang hotel told TeeUp that they had seen a “marked improvement” in both occupancy and food and beverage.

“This has to do with the restrictions being relaxed, and the more people feel comfortable about coming out again – to stay and to eat.

“I too think that if we don’t suffer any setbacks then we can continue along with some semblance of confidence,” he added.

“But we we are still way behind in the banqueting and catering sections. There has been zero movement here only because of the restrictions of large numbers of people gathering in one place.

“For instance, weddings and conferences/seminars count for a large part of our business. But because we are unable to host any, there has been no movement there and thus no business.

“It is our hope that things will get better and the restrictions further lifted. Once we are able to restart in these areas, we are cautiously confident that we will see an upturn in things overall.”

Reference