While it will not suit everybody, there might be some opportunities for clubs to think outside the box
We are still confined to just 5kms from home, so it will still be out of reach for a lot of people until the next phase on June 8.
While it will not suit everybody, there might be some opportunities for clubs to think outside the box.
This phase will really be a trial run for how clubs will deal with our new normal.
I know it will be much tougher for the rural clubs until June 8, but for now, if you take Dublin as a model, then it is likely people are within 5kms of a club as there are over 50 clubs in the capital.
Golf can be full of cliques at times – and private member clubs can seem unfriendly.
But clubs could open their timesheet for locals in the short term. You charge not a nominal amount, but €20.
If you look at subscriptions, it’s fair to say that €1,000 would be a decent average. If you play once a week, it’s €20 per week.
This is not really a time to cash in with customers, as we are just facilitating access to golf.
The social structure will also change. The guys that play year in, year out will have to adapt and maybe meet some new people. This is an advantage as it spreads your social network.
It would help clubs in the short term and you could do it with a postcode system so it would be fool proof.
The great thing is that these courses should all be in pristine condition. They will be great showcases for the golf clubs.
We have seen private hospitals almost become public during this virus. Maybe this is a chance for the golfing community to play its part.
Rory is back in action as we have a golf event announced – a skins match with Dustin Johnston, Matt Wolff and Rick Fowler.
But it’s a start. It will be for charity, with the proceeds going to the front-line health industry.
The funny thing is that it could get the TV figures of a major. The armchair golfer has been starved of action since the Players back in March.
It really is a good idea and cause. It’s a soft opening for golf. It will also give plenty of clues from a production level.
At a regular tournament you would have up to 200 people behind the scenes broadcasting the pictures. This will give everybody a chance to see how difficult the new normal will become.
The golf will be a sideshow for the powers in the game. Having said that, it will be great to see some golf.
These are normally end of season games with no relevance. It is amazing how times have changed.
The European Tour will also try its hand at some live action with Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Bernd Weisberger and Joost Luiten also going to play for charity – but on a golf simulator.
Listen, it’s not ideal, and everybody is trying to make the most of a bad situation.
Going forward, it might be a read on the difference between the PGA Tour and the European Tour.
This week’s question: Do golfers receive their prize money immediately or do they have to wait for ‘pay day’ every week/month?
I competed in the Spanish Open in 2000 and got a sterling cheque about a month later – and then it took about another month for it to clear!
When I played on the Asian tour back in the late 1990s we got paid in cash every Sunday night. We lined up for our dollars in the clubhouse after play.
Now, on the European Tour, the players are paid three or four days after a tournament finishes.
In Australia and South Africa, it takes seven to 10 days, and it’s a similar wait for payment on the Challenge Tour.
But the PGA Tour pay their players every Monday morning, which is awesome. It would be nice to get that winning million-dollar cheque arriving the following morning!
World news – GB – Gary Murphy: There’s a chance for golf to play its part when courses reopen