A frequent theme that you’ll hear from Richard Zokol, whether he’s discussing the PGA Tour or his new MindTRAK Golf app, is the importance of not getting ahead of yourself.
In other golf parlance, “your next shot is your most important shot” or “stay in the present.”
Whatever way you want to word it, the words of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member and former PGA Tour player not only apply to golf on the course, but also golf as a business, or any other business for that matter, because all have been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, across various business sectors are people, some call them “experts,” pontificating in the media on how each industry will emerge into a new post-pandemic era.
Isn’t that like taking the lead on the third hole and just assuming you’ve got the tournament won at that point when all kinds of mayhem can happen on the remaining 15 holes that will determine the winner?
You concern yourself with the final hole of the tournament when you get there, but there’s plenty of work to get done between then and now.
The same holds true right now for the business of golf as operations begin opening across the country. The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, although there have been some encouraging numbers lately.
Still, there is talk of a second wave coming, mutations of the virus and a vaccine is still a year away by most estimates. The post-pandemic era is undefined at this point, so why concern yourself with it when there’s plenty to do now?
Don’t get ahead of yourself. What’s commonly being called the “new normal” these days should be referred to as the “now normal.”
Despite the lockdown, the season isn’t starting a lot later than it normally does for many of us, but many have lost tournaments, weddings, banquets and other events that account for a big chunk of revenue, as does a department such as food and beverage, which is still limited to take-out in many cases.
We need to enforce social distancing and other precautions in place to protect golfers and staff at the same time, but your staff may be reduced due to cost-cutting measures.
At the same time, we’ll be operating in a Canadian economy that lost close to
two million jobs in April, sending the unemployment rate soaring to 13 per cent.
Then, there’s that familiar wild card, the weather.
Golf businesses have enough on their plates right now to make the present the first priority and that’s nothing against forward thinking at an appropriate time.
There’s a lot riding on the next few months for many operations and it will be a hands-on experience that we’ve never faced before, given the magnitude of this pandemic. When the post-pandemic era finally does arrive, we will emerge with on-the-job training that we weren’t anticipating when 2020 began.
The post-pandemic era may be somewhat different than the one we left when the lockdowns began, but the golf industry has evolved considerably over the past 20 years through 9-11, the recession of 2008-2009 and, for some, floods and wildfires and other challenges.
Change occurs in every industry and golf is no exception, but right now, it’s not to be anticipated in any crystal ball that looks into the future.
We didn’t ask for this pandemic, but we got it and all that matters is survival. That means reacting to a specific situation on a day by day basis.
The future is now.