COVID-19 pandemic has wrecked many businesses, but Regina’s golf season hasn’t suffered the same fate.
Numbers from the City of Regina show a noticeable increase in rounds played. While the numbers are up among golfers, their restaurant numbers in the clubhouses are sadly down due to COVID restrictions.
Maureen Mann, business performance consultant for the cities’ Parks and Recreation Department, provided numbers showing that all four of Regina’s golf courses had surges from the previous season, 5,734 more rounds were played in 2020 than 2019 at Joanne Goulet Golf Club; 3,815 more rounds at Lakeview Par Three; 3,097 more rounds at Tor Hill; 2,718 more rounds at the Murray.
The Goulet golf club in Regina is thriving in these times, and most of this had to do with overcrowding from the other golf courses. Paul Schatz, head pro at the Goulet said the people who wanted to go to Murray or Tor Hill would then go to Goulet as they got the backlog from those courses.
Golf may be thriving in Regina’s courses; however, that is not the same for the golf courses’ restaurants. Schatz said that they follow health protocol, but they did see a noticeable drop in food and drink sales; he explained that other places like Royal Regina Golf Club and Tor Hill have these low numbers because they cannot host banquets or tournaments.
Golfing is such a hot commodity in Regina that orders for new golf clubs are backlogged for several months.
At Goulet, Schatz said Callaway beginner sets are backed up until December. With the sheer amount of numbers of people who want to play golf, the Goulet course was ready to handle the load. The regular tee times are set at 10 minutes apart as it did not interfere with other golf matches. Before COVID, Schatz said that their tee times were set at 7-8 minutes intervals so one was at 10:00 and another one was at 10:07 and the third one was at 10:15.
Regular golfer Max Ritz enjoys golf as “it is competitive but casual.”
“Golf was a way to almost forget COVID,” said Ritz in a text message. “I connected with friends in a safe and meaningful way.”
The biggest changes that Ritz noticed with golfing this year were the procedures in cleaning the golf carts and not removing the flag from the hole, but that did not deter him at all. During this year, Ritz said he golfed around 20-25 times and that doubled his past numbers of 10-15 from the previous year.