State of the Course April 2020
On March 23rd, the direction of our course took a drastic turn. The Tulare County Board of Health mandated that we close our business as a matter of public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not qualified to expound on whether or not this makes sense, or is a necessity, but I can detail how it affects the golf course and our community at large.
We employ two dozen employees for the golf course and an additional two dozen at the 9 Iron Bar & Grill. As an entity, we laid off most of those workers, and are operating at a bare minimum to keep our living, breathing golf course alive and ready for the much-anticipated reopening date.
I’m sure none of that comes as news to our golfers, but this isn’t a “woe is me” blog. I write this to highlight what golf, in general, does for the surrounding community. Our day to day operation has a much longer reach than just our 160 acres. The overall effect on the town is not only our job loss and its impact, but our connection to local charities, schools, and other programs.
Tulare Union HS Boys Baseball raises $8-10k running its tournament here. Unfortunately, we could not host on March 22nd, and they are hoping to reschedule for later this year. St. Aloysius has hosted a tournament with Tulare Golf Course for years, and last year they raised thousands for their school. If they budgeted this fundraiser for this year, how do they compensate for this loss of income?
In May last year, we helped raise over $50,000 for several programs in the community. That is the effect of a local golf course not being able to operate. If we assume the four other local courses raised similar amounts, that is $200,000 in May, not going to programs in Tulare and Kings County that may be important to you.
You are correct if you think that large gatherings aren’t appropriate at this time. I don’t pretend that the cost of increased exposure could be far higher; however, we all need to be aware of the fees we are paying.
The following is an excellent article on the current COVID-19 from the National Golf Foundation
The National Golf Foundation
GolfAdvisor also provides great golf-related information and updates regularly
Golf Advisor COVID-19
Golf in Tulare isn’t just old white men in their 60s mumbling their way through 18 holes. We had families, couples, and kids on our course regularly. Look through our Facebook post when we announced our closure.
We Are Shutdown
The comments show a mix of angry, happy, and sad reactions to the shutdown. I’m far too biased to give a fair opinion on the reasoning behind the statewide closure of golf courses; unfortunately, our troubles may be slow to turn.