As we head into summer in Central Oregon and continue with Covid-19 restrictions, golf in Oregon is still in full swing. With its built in social distancing aspects of the game, there’s still some modifications you should be aware of before heading to the course.  

To learn more about golf during these uncertain times, Awbrey Glen’s General Manager, Tommy Berg, spoke with us about how Covid-19 has changed up golf operations and tournaments in Bend, Oregon.   

Do you see some of the current safety measures staying for the long term?

We originally instituted many safety precautions at Awbrey Glen, including restricting golf carts to single rider use, individually sanitizing each golf cart before use, and removing touch points such as bunker rakes, sand bottles, ball washers, amenity stations and more. We also placed foam noodles in each hole to keep the ball within easy reach for the golfer. Our tournament calendar has been impacted most, with many of our major events for the season being canceled.

What trends have you seen relative to demand this year versus last? 

Being an outdoor activity, demand for golf has been tremendous. Our golf rounds this season are up over 40% from our average, which has led to strength in club sales as well. Our Player Development programming has also been very strong. With private lessons and group programming, offering instruction to fit all abilities and skill levels has proven to be a popular mix of opportunities for our members to improve their game.

Tell us about the lottery system and how long do you see it in place?  

With demand high, we began using a tee time lottery system for the first time in early April. The lottery system balances use amongst the membership by assigning tee times based on a short window of previous rounds played. The lottery is in place to provide our members a longer tee time registration window and will likely be removed when we see a reduction in demand.

Anything else you’d like to share?  

We’ve always put an emphasis on member relationships and engagement, and seeing how our members have been able to rally around golf has been inspiring. We are really excited to see the friendships grow, even during these difficult times.

Other Items of Note

What’s new with junior golf and amateur tournaments?

Tourney Guidelines

  • One spectator per player
  • Player check in at the 1st tee
  • Limited food service
  • No trading score cards between players
  • “Air” handshakes 

On the Course

  • Rakes from bunkers and sand bottles from the refill station have been removed. 
  • Ball washers on the course have been covered and sealed. 
  • The flagstick will remain in the hole, with pool noodles placed in the hole to keep the ball just below the surface of the green.

Overall, each facility has similar social distancing rules but it’s advised to call the course or visit online to be in the know before you go.  

Click here for a list of courses :  http://www.oregongolf.com/courses/

Although a few major tournaments have been cancelled, there are still quite a few golf events to follow in Oregon and across the country so check out the links below for additional information. 

Resources and Links

Oregon Golf Association

Visit online here and follow them on Instagram here or like them on Facebook here.

Oregon Junior Golf 

Visit online here.

American Junior Golf Association

Visit online here and follow them on Instagram here or like them on Facebook here.

PGA tour resumes this weekend — https://www.pgatour.com. Like them on FB here and follow them on Instagram here. Event updates can be found here.

Photo Credit: American Junior Golf Association