PODCAST: State of the industry address – Golf’s return after lockdown

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Wednesday, March 24th will mark one-year since golf was first suspended due to the virus known as Covid-19. Since then, golf has opened and closed between lockdowns with players around the country missing out on the best part of six months’ golf. Both clubs, and members have suffered through this pandemic but both rely on the support of one another more than ever to come out the other side of a dreadful time for the industry. In that spirit, to help golfers everywhere better understand the current state of the industry and where we go from here, we thought it would be a good idea to invite some representatives from all corners of golf in a special edition of the podcast. Golf is back in Northern Ireland on April 1st and we don’t know yet when golf will be officially back in ROI, but we manage to answer many of the questions that have been circling social media in recent weeks.

Former GUI CEO, Pat Finn was the man in the hot seat when Covid-19 first hit Irish shores and he explains the challenges the Union faced when coming to terms with this unpredictable pandemic. The Managing Director of Carr Golf Services, Ed Pettit, whose team is charged with the running of 19 golf clubs around the country, discusses the various impacts Covid-19 has had on the industry as a whole. Director of Golf at Ardglass, Paul Vaughan gives us an insight into how the absence of an overseas travel market has hurt operations at the club while Lucan Golf Club General Manager, Mark Ruddy talks about how the domestic market has reacted across the year and the challenge clubs now face to convince members that their loyalty is needed now more than ever. As ever, we hope you enjoy the listen. Let us know what you think.

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8 responses to “PODCAST: State of the industry address – Golf’s return after lockdown”

  1. Brendan King avatar
    Brendan King

    I listened to the podcast . My point was as regards government decision to allow parks and walkways to remain open for exercise which led to hundreds of people congretating in those areas and certainly not safely whereas golf is by its nature is very safe, with its spaced tee times , yet these points were not communicated by our union to government .

  2. Ivan Morris avatar
    Ivan Morris

    Well said, Brendan King! I gave up walking in the large, public park near me because it has become overrun by families during lockdown and one was in constant danger of being run over by a child going too fast on his/her scooter or bicycle. Golf Ireland has been far too quiescent and has not put up much of a fight to keep courses open during this unnecessary lockdown as far as the ultra-safe game of golf is concerned – very disappointing leadership, I must say!

  3. Frank Donnell avatar
    Frank Donnell

    It would be interesting to count the number of negative comments about gui/golf Ireland over the past 12 months. Most successful organisations take on board criticism as a feedback process in order that they can communicate how they have made changes to improve.
    Gui/golf Ireland……..nothing!!

  4. Sid avatar

    not a single actual ordinary golfer asked to participate, just the “management”…typical for the GUI

    1. Mark Ruddy avatar
      Mark Ruddy

      Hi Sid, I am a ordinary golfer and member of a golf club outside of work.

  5. JP avatar

    The government in the north made some crazy decisions with no apparent logic used to arrive at them

    Way before the first lock down started, golf was doing its level best to behave in a safe and sensible way. This approach was working well and it was keeping people safe.

    During the first lock down, local people (non members) were using our course to jog, walk dogs, take a walk, etc whilst the members couldn’t use their own course for actual golf. The club eventually had to block off the driveway to stop visitors using our course.

    I can understand during each lock down period keeping the both club house and bar/restaurant closed to discourage gathering, but there was absolutely no need to stop using the course with proper distancing (which had been the case from the start)

  6. Pat Harvey avatar
    Pat Harvey

    This podcast sounds like it’s sponsored by the golf industry # ..no need to cut fairways and roughs twice or three times a week .come on golf Ireland get your act together ,golf courses in Scotland have remained open since May 2020

  7. Donagh avatar

    My frustration is that golf courses remain closed, early April re-opening now looks unlikely.
    Many members have paid their subs for 2021, yet non-paying, non-members are using courses for walking, jogging, dogs walking & even cycling!
    If these “visitors” are safe…surely golfers are!

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