Friday, May 29, 2020

Several Puerto Rico Golf Courses and Resorts Re-open

Others to Follow Imminently as Island Golf Destination Stakeholders Implement Safeguards


(SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO) — Many of Puerto Rico’s 18 golf courses have reopened, as recently announced by Gov. Wanda Vázquez.

“It’s the right time . . . We have flattened the curve,” said Gov. Vázquez.

Caution, patience, and discipline have been staples of the Island’s proactive edicts designed to protect Puerto Rico residents and visitors. That will continue when many businesses gradually reopen across the Island. A 7 pm to 5 am curfew will remain in place until June 15, and all people will be required to wear a mask when outside or inside a business.

Puerto Rico, an American territory, will join the rest of the United States as pertains to the game; golf courses have reopened in all 50 states.

“This is encouraging news, and people wishing to visit the Island can soon embrace all that is waiting for them when the time is right to travel,” said Leah Chandler, CMO, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s Destination Marketing Organization.

Some Island courses are open to everyone, including Royal Isabela, Club Deportivo del Oeste, and more. Other Island courses are open to members only currently – TPC Dorado Beach, Palmas Athletic Club, and Wyndham Grand Rio Mar, for example – with the public expected to be welcomed back imminently. For instance, Rio Mar will allow public play beginning on June 2. For details pertaining to each golf venue, call them at the phone numbers listed at bottom.

Royal Isabela’s re-opening protocol is indicative of how Island golf courses are operating. The boutique resort perched atop 200-foot cliffs on Puerto Rico’s northwest coast, reopened its Links Golf Course for public play. It has installed an array of safeguards to enhance safe recreation, including staff using personal protective gear, sanitizing and cleaning golf carts and the Pro Shop common areas throughout the day, and more. Other Royal Isabela mandates include requiring that tee times be booked at least 48 hours in advance with all due information; no use of the driving range, practice greens, or club rentals; one player allowed per golf cart; no post round gathering or socializing; and more.

Puerto Rico’s 18 golf courses are located throughout the Island – from the northwestern tip to the East Coast – with several in northeastern Puerto Rico near capital San Juan. Accentuating tropical splendor and remarkable ocean views, Island golf resorts are renowned for their first-class service and inspirational settings.

Puerto Rico is an enchanting destination where history, culture, gastronomy, nightlife, beaches, hotels and resorts abound. It requires no passport for American citizens, is bilingual, uses the U.S. dollar for currency, and is the air hub of the Caribbean. There are more than 4,000 restaurants, and the lodging venues range from top hospitality brands to being named a top 10 Airbnb world destination.

The Island’s golf venues include:
TPC Dorado Beach (36 holes) – 787-626-1020
Costa Caribe (27) – 787-812-2650
Fort Buchanan (9) – 787-707-3980
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar (36) – 787-888-6000
Rio Bayamon (18) – 787-740-1419
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve/Coco Beach (36) – 787-657-2000
The St. Regis Bahia Beach (18) – 787-809-8000
Caguas Real (18) – 787-653-1573
Royal Isabela (18) – 787-609-5888
Deportivo del Oeste (18) – 787-851-8880
Palmas Athletic Club (36) – 787-656-3000
Punta Borinquen (18) – 787-890-2987
El Legado (18) – 787-866-8894
El Conquistador (18) – 787-863-1000

For more information on Island golf courses, resorts, and other destination attractions along with Puerto Rico’s new health and safety guidelines visit: DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

Tour Stars Walk, Distance and Play Safe in Charity Match

Bernd Wiesberger
The cream of Austrian golf, including world No. 26 and 2019 Race to Dubai 3rd place finisher Bernd Wiesberger, took to the beautiful fairways at Schloss Schönborn G.C. this week for a ‘behind closed doors’ skins competition that saw over €28,000 donated to charity.

Wiesberger was joined by Ladies European Tour players Christiane Wolf and Sarah Schober and European Tour player Mathias Schwab. The match was played as a round robin 9 hole skins format leading to head to head matches between every player. Each hole was worth €300 with players donating their accumulated winnings to a charity of their choice. All the action is set to be televised over the next three weeks on Austrian T.V. where more fundraising will take place with proceeds donated to SOS Children’s Village and its COVID-19 aid project.

As part of Covid-19 containment regulations the matches took place without spectators, with each player adhering to social distancing guidelines. In addition, all four competitors chose to play without caddies, instead using push carts from Europe’s most owned push cart brand BIG MAX, while keeping to the advice set out in the brand’s new Walk, Distance, Play Safe campaign.

Upon completion of the 27 hole competition, Bernd Wiesberger said, “It was great to get out on the course and raise money for charity at the same time. We’re very lucky that golf has returned so quickly and I hope that many people will see how we were able to walk the course, keep our distance and play safely. We were very grateful for our BIG MAX push carts to help us get around the course too. I think my caddy is disappointed we can’t take it when I return to play in the U.S. next month!”

Wiesberger and Schwab used BIG MAX’s Fold Flat AutoFold FF push cart while Wolf and Schober opted for the brand new Ti LITE model. After the conclusion of the match, each player signed their BIG MAX push cart and these will now be auctioned off for the winner’s charity.

Thomas Reiter, owner of BIG MAX, was delighted to support the event on home soil. He said, “To have played a part in raising funds at this event is very special. We have been delighted to support several charity causes through the Covid-19 pandemic and we are running our Walk, Distance, Play Safe campaign to help the game to return safely. But to be able to help raise money and promote safe golf in our home country is a real honor. Austria is going through its most successful period as a golf nation. Bernd is leading the way but players like Christiane, Matthias and Sarah show that Austrian golf is on the rise and I hope that this event will not only raise a great deal of money for charity, but also inspire more young Austrians to take up our great game.”

In addition to television coverage, the Austrian Golf Association at www.golf.at and its associated social media channels will have extensive coverage.

For more information on the BIG MAX line as used by the Tour stars, visit www.bigmaxgolf.com.

City of Los Angeles Golf Partners with GOLFNOW

City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will Utilize GOLFNOW Technology and Services to Power its 12 Area Golf Facilities


(ORLANDO, Fla.) – GOLFNOW today announced a new partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, providing the city’s 12 area golf facilities with GOLFNOW’s industry leading technology and services, as well as access to the world’s largest tee-time marketplace. The partnership builds on an agreement the city established with EZLinks Golf, now a GOLFNOW company, which was signed in 2018.

Open since May 9 after the state of California began loosening restrictions for recreational activity, Los Angles City Golf begins a new chapter with GOLFNOW and will continue to benefit from the industry’s leading EZLinks-branded technology, as well as inclusion within GOLFNOW’s online tee-time marketplace. GOLFNOW also will provide marketing support – including social media and email marketing- as well as website design and management, and call center assistance as part of the partnership.

“The City of Los Angeles operates a large and envious portfolio of golf properties that enjoy a loyal following,” said Laura Bauernfeind, Golf Manager. “The opportunity with GOLFNOW to showcase our tee times within the world’s largest, online marketplace, coupled with the major steps we’ve been able to take by utilizing EZLinks’ integrated technology platform, will be a big win-win for our golf course properties and golfers, alike.”

GOLFNOW will power operations at the city’s seven, 18-hole courses; three, 9-hole courses and two, Par-3 courses.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pound Ridge Golf Club Opens for 2020 Golf Season

(POUND RIDGE, N.Y.) — Pound Ridge Golf Club – legendary Pete Dye’s modern public marvel in Westchester County –  is now open for play for the 2020 golf season.

Ranked No. 4 in GOLF Magazine’s “Best Courses You Can Play in New York,” Pound Ridge is Mr. Dye’s only design in the golf-rich Empire State. Less than an hour drive from New York City and minutes from White Plains, Greenwich, Stamford and Norwalk (Conn.), the World Golf Hall of Famer’s admired layout has become one of the celebrated “must-play” public courses in the region.

Following the social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) during the current coronavirus pandemic, rates include a single use golf cart fully sanitized before and after the round, use of the practice range 20 minutes before tee times, and 15-minute intervals between tee times to facilitate pace of play as well as distancing between groups.

Due to current restrictions set forth by New York’s Empire State Development (ESD), all buildings at the course remain closed for the time being including restrooms, clubhouse, drinking water fountains and pro shop. All rounds are pre-paid only and can be booked online here with a 24-hour cancellation policy.

As for additional safety measures, there are no bunker rakes on the course and the holes have piping inside to prevent the ball from falling into the cup for easy removal. Pound Ridge is also offering nine-hole play after 3:30 p.m. (day of play only) by calling the pro shop at 914.764.5771. Players are asked to arrive not more than 25 minutes before their tee time.

Pound Ridge sits regally on 172 acres of pastoral Westchester County with dramatic rock outcroppings, streams and wooded, rolling hills converging to create an enjoyable and challenging par-72 course. Five sets of tees range from 5,151 to 7,165 yards providing challenges for golfers of all skill levels. Among its unforgettable holes is the dramatic par-5 13th which is home to “Pete’s Rock,” a giant boulder that rests in the middle of the fairway.

For more information, or to book a tee time, please call 914.764.5771 or visit www.poundridgegolf.com.

Virtual Women’s Golf Day Charity Auction is Live

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) — With less than a week to go to Virtual Women’s Golf Day, June 2, the golf industry has shown its incredible community spirit by supporting the campaign’s charity auction with fantastic, must-have golf lots and experiences from around the world.

The auction, which benefits Médecins sans Frontiers / Doctors without Borders (MSF) and their battle with COVID-19 is now live and will end on June 2.

It features auction items including rounds of golf at some of the world’s most spectacular courses, a behind the scenes experience at Sky TV’s Studios, a series of signed memorabilia including items from The 2019 Solheim Cup (Team Europe and USA), Major winners including Georgia Hall and Annika Sorenstam, as well as Jack Nicklaus whose message of support alongside wife Barbara has encouraged many more to donate their time as well as auction items.

Elisa Gaudet, founder of Women’s Golf Day, is thankful for the incredible generosity and support and excited to share all of the auction items: “The response from the industry has been incredible, and shows the importance of unity to help these incredible healthcare workers that are on the frontlines protecting us.  We have items from Major winners, Solheim Cup stars and some of the very best golf venues in the world.  This is an incredible opportunity to raise funds for an essential, global agency who work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable people in the world.  We are united, resolute and want to look back and take pride in how we responded to this challenge.”

A full list of the 25 plus lots is accessible via the WGD website. Simply visit https://womensgolfday.com/virtual-golf-day/ click on SUPPORT and place your bid. Anyone who is looking forward to watching exciting content from around the world on Virtual WGD will be able to access this on the same page on June 2.

Finally, if you feel you have something you can donate then it’s not too late. Just contact Founder of Women’s Golf Day Elisa Gaudet.

GOLFNOW on Golf's Return After Lockdown

(RELEASE) — After more than a two-month forced hiatus for many golf courses across North America due to COVID-19, all 50 U.S. states and 10 Canadian provinces now are authorizing courses to operate under specific restrictions outlined by their respective state governments. Golfers are coming back to the course in record numbers, with many markets experiencing unprecedented year-over-year demand for tee times and online rounds sold at many courses having exceeded 900 percent on certain days since re-opening. For safety purposes, a majority of these courses are now requiring tee times to be reserved and pre-paid online.

GOLFNOW, the industry leader in golf course technology and services, which also operates the world’s largest online tee-time marketplace, partners with more than 9,000 golf courses globally, including nearly 7,000 in North America. Since the return of golf in many states, GOLFNOW has seen unprecedented demand on its website and app. Because of its leading position, the real-time data collected by GOLFNOW can be considered a valid representation of how the entire industry is performing.

Statement from JEFF FOSTER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GOLFNOW, regarding shifts in golfer behavior as golf ramps back up:
“It’s unprecedented times for golf courses across North America after the lockdown, and the number of golfers demanding tee times is off the charts. We’re seeing a significant uptick in the number of people coming back to the game through GOLFNOW booking channels, as well as a steady increase in new golfers. As courses try to keep up with the demand while adhering to safety protocols required by state mandates, we’re also seeing a fundamental shift toward booking tee times online. As consumers become more secure with technology in the home – whether it be streaming video or meeting friends and colleagues online – they also are discovering the ease and convenience of reserving golf online. In select markets since the lockdown, we’ve seen days when online rounds booked have increased over 900 percent compared to the same day last year.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

BOYNE Golf – Midwest’s Largest Golf Resort Reopens This Week

(Petoskey, MI) – BOYNE Golf is pleased to announce that after an extended period of resort closures and limited course offerings due to COVID-19, the Midwest’s largest golf resort destination is set to resume operations this Friday, May 29 at Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Highlands Resort, the Inn at Bay Harbor and all ten BOYNE Golf courses.

BOYNE Golf will now be at full golf strength with its final five golf courses opening along with a variety of restaurants open for seated dining at all three resorts. Golf courses include The Donald Ross Memorial and The Moor courses at Boyne Highlands, The Monument course at Boyne Mountain, as well as Links/Quarry and Preserve/Links at Bay Harbor Golf Club. Two people will also be allowed to ride in golf carts together.

During this down time, the Boyne team has reviewed all resort operations and have modified them to ensure that guests will still get the exceptional, friendly and personalized service, while minimizing exposure and maintaining safety. Social distancing will be implemented in all public areas; and there will continue to be heightened cleaning and sanitizing across all areas.

Escape and Experience a BOYNE Golf Package
Golfers looking for a great golfing road trip following weeks of sheltering at home should check out the “Play It Your Way” golf package. This includes two-nights lodging and four rounds of golf built your way.

Stay at Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Highlands Resort or Crooked Tree Cottages any night through June 26 as part of this limited time offer. Two nights and four rounds start at only $236 per person at Boyne Mountain, $286 per person at Boyne Highlands or $408 per person at Crooked Tree Cottages.

Deal ends Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm. Mention code: TIMETOGOLF when booking.

For more information, visit BOYNEGolf.com.