Pedro Castelo Branco is the licensee of the World Corporate Golf Challenge in Portugal. We have asked him about the future of the golf industry after the COVID-19 crisis. We wanted to know what does he think about how golf and clubs will respond to the reopening in Portugal.
Pedro Castelo, WCGC Portugal
The return of WCGC Portugal is great news. How did you prepare for the return?
Our preparation has been to permanently follow the evolution of the situation through the contact with the Portuguese Golf Federation and with the Directors of the golf courses. In order to understand the consequences that the Pandemic caused by the Covid-19 is bringing to golf and thus adapt to all the changes and demands that are being implemented.
Why should golf be considered a safe sport?
Besides being played outdoors and in very large areas, golf is a sport that does not involve large crowds of people. With the proper precautions and compliance with the rules emanating from Portuguese Golf Federation and from each particular course, it is undoubtedly a very low risk activity for any potential infection.
Do you think there will be changes with regard to the safety of golf courses?
They are already happening. There is a set of general safety rules to which the particular rules of each course must be added. I believe that even after this Pandemic period players will eventually get used to and naturally comply with many of these safety rules. I even believe that this will happen in everyone’s everyday life.
Innovation in golf after COVID-19
Golf is a sport with very little contact, do you think that events should be reorganised from now on?
I think we should understand whether the situation is really under control before we start organising the events, which will increase social contact after the game. That is why I think that this month is very important in order to have a correct mental preparation of the new procedures.
In addition to the organisation of events, at least in the first phase, there will certainly undergo changes, mainly in the social component (prize giving ceremonies). The creativity of each organisation is currently being put to the test and new ideas will appear, I have no doubt.
Do you think that the new situation can help to improve innovation systems in golf after COVID-19?
I think so. It’s at these times that we can be more creative. That will certainly bring results for the future in terms of innovation.