The head professional at Montrose Golf Links says there will likely be a “mini boom” for the sport in Scotland when the coronavirus situation finally comes under control.
The virus has hit every corner of society hard, golf included. But Jason Boyd told bunkered.co.uk there is light at the end of the tunnel if the industry in Scotland sticks together.
“It’s been tough but on the other side of all this I think there will be a mini boom because people will be desperate to get back out there and play golf again,” said Boyd, head professional at the venue that is home to the world’s fifth oldest golf layout, the 1562 Course. “We need to do everything possible for the future until we open up again.”
Boyd says the local golf community has rallied as they attempt to navigate the chaos of the Government-enforced lockdown.
“We have spoken to Carnoustie, Panmure, and Monifieth as we are all in the same boat, even though we all have different businesses. We are all learning off each other. The golf business as a whole has definitely come together to try and support each other as best we can.”
Montrose Golf Links, like many other clubs in Scotland, was hit hard by the timing of the lockdown. Season ticket renewals were due on April 1, with golfers effectively being asked to pay for something they can’t make use of.
Despite that, Boyd says the reaction has been mostly positive.
“The members have been supportive, with renewals being steady if not spectacular.
“We appreciate that they are paying for something that can’t use, especially when people like Sky Sports are pausing subscription payments – but they are a multinational company. All golf clubs are in a similar position. We’re putting out a rallying call for people to keep buying their season ticket as they normally would and get ready to play again. We are really depending on the loyalty and support of our members.”
He added: “We are the fifth oldest golf course in the world and that is a huge pull for our visitors – but when we come out of this, we still want to be able to claim we are the fifth oldest in the world. We started a GoFundMe page, which we will be sharing through our social media channels soon. It’s just another way to bring in cash so this works out.”
Another positive is that the club has now opened its diary for 2021 after seeing a number of golfers defer their booking for 12 months.
Reassuringly, the 2022 diary has already been populated with confirmed tee times, too.
“Obviously, if our green fees go up in ’21 or ’22, we will hold the fees at the price golfers paid for this year, so as to encourage them to reschedule instead of not wanting to come at all,” added Boyd.
The Montrose Golf Links committee has also decided not to adopt its usual winter set-up during the first week in November, a decision Boyd said will please season ticket holders and would-be visitors.
“We usually set up the winter course for the first week in November, but we’ll be staying as a full course as long as we can. We appreciate the season ticket holders are losing out in April and May but we can tag those months of lost play on to the end of the season.”
Support Montrose Golf Links
You can contribute to safeguarding the future of Montrose Golf Links by donating to the club through its GoFundMe fundraising page.