First COVID-19, then the smoke, but the rounds are up

Updated: October 2, 2020

This has been one strange golf season. What started off as a solid spring, quickly turned into a series of “anything that can happen will happen.”

First, the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, closing golf courses across the U.S. for weeks. Then around the Pacific Northwest, wildfires spread like, well, wildfire. Smoke filled the air for days and weeks causing some courses to close down.

Golf courses had to make up a different set of rules to comply with state regulations, starting with solo riders in carts, masks in pro shops, hand sanitizer throughout and six feet of social distancing. But through it all, the courses survived.

And not just survived. Courses across the country, and especially in the Pacific Northwest, saw some huge numbers once play started up again back in April. The numbers weren’t just big; they were record-setting.

Most courses set records, in fact Warren Orr at Foster Golf Course near Sea-Tac Airport said the course did 10,000 rounds in the month of July alone. You read that right. 10,000 rounds in one month. Wow! Not that all courses did those kind of numbers, but the number of rounds at courses were up across the board. Anyone who tried to get weekend tee times were well aware just how busy golf has become. Tee times were scarce not just on weekend but during the week as well.

That was great news for the golf courses after having to deal with shut downs, a pandemic, smoke issues and being forced to play under a new set of rules due to the COVID-19 outbreak.