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YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Dan Fortin putts at Wildhorse Golf Club. The city of Davis' three courses are back up and running. Owen Yancher/Enterprise photo

Free Sports

Davis golf courses provide a silver lining

After a month of inactivity — still with the end of the pandemic nowhere near in sight — all three Davis golf courses were given the green light to reopen April 20.

While it’s still early, business seems to be booming for each. All three have taken extra measures in order to ensure the safety of each of their customers. And the spring having sprung and the shelter-in-place edicts wearing thin on folks everywhere, having an outdoor adventure like golf — even if it’s amended — has been locally welcomed.

365体育投注Importantly, as well, none report permanent financial damage due to being void of paying customers during this time.

365体育投注While golf courses in Sacramento County were allowed to stay open following the governor’s stay-inside decree, nine weeks ago the Davis Golf Course and Wildhorse Golf Course were forced to shut their doors via a Yolo County order just days after El Macero Country Club did so on its own.

365体育投注During the shutdown, each course was able to retain or re-hire most of its staff, while also being able to work on projects that they wouldn’t normally have been able to.

365体育投注“In some ways it really helped … we had a skeleton crew and they did a fantastic job taking care of the course,” said Davis Golf Course Director of Golf Mark Hansen. “We were able to do some projects that we haven’t had the time to do. But it’s hard to do stuff when you don’t have any income.”

365体育投注Over at Wildhorse it was more of the same …

“We really tried to make good use of that time, we aerated all the greens, we aerated our driving range deck, we did some irrigation projects that would have been hard to do if we had players,” said facility owner Chuck Klein. “Our guys really did an excellent job, even (general manager Charlie Klein) was out there every day doing cutting because we just didn’t have the staff, but most everybody has come back.”

Meanwhile El Macero Country Club was able to continue with the upkeep of the course while providing valuable services to their members and community by offering both food orders and grocery orders (in addition to turning the course into tournament-style condition).

365体育投注“For this time of year, it’s in one of the best condition I’ve ever seen,” said EMCC General Manager Rusty Seymour. “It’s been six weeks without any cart or foot traffic, or any divots. It was in great condition and it only got better as the weather got hotter. I’ve had many members saying it was the best condition it’s ever been in and some of these are 20- or 25-year members.”

365体育投注Initially when the pandemic hit, some worried about the long-term sustainability of the courses.

All three courses report that those fears have been mostly assuaged with people coming out in droves to play their favorite links in Davis again.

“We’re actually making up some good headway with being as busy as we are,” Klein said. “We were able to get through this, I think we’re going to be a little better for it … we’re going to be a better course going forward.

365体育投注“It’s really one of the only ways that people can go outside and exercise.”

Added Hansen: “We’re OK, we only have half the tee times that we used to have, but some income is better than no income. For us, our feeling is that we’re just happy to be open and give people an outlet. We don’t need to be greedy. There’s a lot of places that aren’t open. I’m happy running at limited tee times and doing what we can.”

East of Mace, El Macero actually reported an uptick in club membership during the downtime, something Seymour attributes to both course quality and an aggressive digital marketing strategy.

All three courses now offer food options in a safe manner, mostly from a pickup standpoint, with no one allowed to enter the restaurant buildings that they formerly frequented.

365体育投注In all, it appears as if things will be OK for golf in Davis, giving locals the chance to forget about their troubles for four hours in a safe in a socially distant manner.

365体育投注“It’s not perfect, but I think people are with the program and doing well with it,” Klein said. “We’re moving forward and not looking back.”

— Reach Evan Ream at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanReam.

CalMatters


Evan Ream graduated with a B.A. in journalism from Southern Oregon in Ashland, Ore. He loves soccer more than any person rationally should. "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that." - Bill Shankly

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