What process did the hotel take when the announcement was made that golf was to reopen?
On 1st June we reopened two of our three courses – our award-winning Brabazon and PGA National courses. We followed an extensive process to ensure that we could safely reopen the golf courses for our guests and for The Belfry team. We had to review and change the entire customer journey in order to ensure that all Government guidelines and requirements were met.
We have a lot of new processes in place to ensure that we are compliant with the guidelines and so our guests can still enjoy our golf courses and extensive outdoor space. We want our guests to have a fun and memorable time, while feeling safe and secure, and experience our same award-winning hospitality.
We’ve had to amend the whole process, from how to book your tee time to strict timings on the courses, but we’ve received amazing feedback from golfers who are very happy to be back on the course.
What hygiene / social distancing measures were put in place to ensure safety?
We have a number of new measures in place to ensure that golfers are physically distanced and that our capacity is controlled. Pre booking is mandatory and there are 10-minute intervals between each tee time.
Golf can be played solo, with people from the same household or with other players outside of the household providing that physical distancing is adhered to at all times. Pre-booked buggies will also be available, limited to one golfer unless from the same household, and sanitised between each guest.
There is on course sanitiser, and bunker rakes, ball washers, seating and shoe cleaning have been removed. Rental clubs are not available, so players must bring their own sets, and we are asking golfers to not touch the flag sticks, nor share or pick up another player’s club, ball or equipment.
What was the booking demand like?
After spending so much time at home, everyone was desperate to get back on the course. We were inundated with calls. We had constant calls for the first two to three hours of opening the phone lines and the phone line even went down as the demand was so high! Our opening day, 1st June, sold out within hours of launching.
We are limiting the number of rounds per player to three times a week to ensure that everyone has a chance to get on the course.
Have you had to increase prices?
No, our prices have remained the same. It is priced from £50pp for the PGA National and £80pp for The Brabazon.
How has golf performed as a segment since reopening?
It has been extremely popular! People are playing more than before as they have more time to do so, and it is a safe activity to take part in while catching up with their friends and other golfers while distancing.
The feedback has been very positive. Golfers have found it easy to get booked onto the course, everyone has been compliant with the new rules and customers have been enjoying playing again and feel very safe to do so.
How many teams’ members do you have managing the course?
We currently have ten members of the green keeping team and nine people in operations managing the courses.