We asked our licensees how they see the future of the golf industry after the COVID-19 crisis. We want to know how they think and how they think the golf clubs will respond to the reopening in their respective countries. Cristiano Carraroli is the licensee of the World Corporate Golf Challenge in Italy.
Cristiano Carraroli, WCGC Italy
The reopening of the golf courses in some regions of Italy is great news. How did you prepare for the return?
In Italy, as in other countries, a health protocol has been prepared containing some indications to follow in the circles. We, the organizers, are also adapting our procedures in order to respect these indications, especially with regard to the forecasts to be adopted during the competitions. From an organizational point of view, we are reprogramming all the provisional calendars, waiting for the green light to come back to the competitions regularly.
Why should golf be considered a safe sport?
Golf is a game that by definition allows social distancing to be maintained. During the course of the round, and more generally during the day at the club, there are few opportunities to get closer to the other players if the convivial moments are excluded for the moment. With these agreements, it is possible to take up the activities of the main elements of the golf course, in different sports, but always in a different way, for which the course is certainly more complete.
Do you think there will be changes regarding the safety of golf courses?
The health protocol provides very precise and important indications on the actions that clubs will have to take to make golfers safe. However, excluding bans on access to club houses and locker rooms, these are a few interventions that more than anything else require the players themselves to take responsibility.
Golf is a sport with very little personal contact, do you think events should be reorganized from now on?
Certainly yes; between a day on the course out of competition and one in which a competition is played there are no great differences. This is also demonstrated by the contents of the health protocol for golf, which for competitions provides only a few additional measures.
Do you think that the new situation can help to improve innovation systems in golf after COVID-19?
There is a good chance that this situation will stimulate development, but above all the use of digital reservation and payment systems, as well as electronic scoring mechanisms.