(Kimberly James) – As the country begins to emerge from under the COVID-19 pandemic, how businesses reopen and contribute to the economy are important factors to consider. One such industry that could have a significant impact on Nevada’s rebounding economy is golf.
In recent years, golf has played a significant role in Nevada’s economy with an economic output of nearly $2 billion in 2018, employing more than 17,000 individuals. Golf generated more than $700 million in wages and contributed nearly $140 million in state and local taxes in 2018.
Mike Mazzaferi of Sierra Sage Golf Course and MAZZ Golf Management told The Center Square that Nevada golf courses were closed for 22 days, reopening to the public on May 1.
“To my knowledge, only the Wildcreek Par 3 course remains closed and all other courses are back open,” Mazzafaeri said. “Expensively painful but not much different than having a rough stretch of weather. Most courses used those 22 days to dial in their golf course conditions.”
Social distancing protocols including one person to a cart except for spouses, not touching flag sticks, and prepaid online tee times remain in place.
Golf courses have long been used as networking and business venues as well as hosts for charitable events. It follows that as businesses reemerge, there will be those looking to get back on the golf course.
“Three putts aside, it’s common knowledge that being outdoors and playing golf are both great stress relievers. We also know that relieving stress and physical activity will boost our immune systems,” a MAZZ Golf Management letter to customers reads. “It might be that with the right precautions and perhaps a little pre- and post-round modifications, golf might be an excellent antidote to our increasing fears of the coronavirus. And we believe that aside from being in your own home, the golf course is probably one of the safer places you could be.”
Players have already begun returning, strengthening relationships and forging partnerships. Extensive cleaning and sanitization procedures have been implemented to keep golfers safe.
“I believe our customers are spreading the word that we’re doing everything we can to make it safe and we’re an outdoor recreational sport,” Mazzaferi said. “If we use common sense and follow our own guidelines, it’s as safe as being home.”