THERE’S an ever-growing air of great uncertainty that spans the globe which was brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has bred fear and paranoia, but in the circumstances this is something to be expected. The pandemic has shaken the world unlike anything else over the last half century or so. It has altered, rather dramatically, the very fabric of life on earth (for humans).
But being as resolute as nature taught to be us with time, we are still in there – battling it as best and ferociously as we possibly can.
The golf industry is a decent example of this. Wounded by restrictions put in place to thwart the spread of the virus, local golf clubs are doing all they can to keep their heads above water, in these difficult, and trying times. And the good thing is, according to the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA), there has not been a club yet that has closed its doors (permanently) for business because of the pandemic.
Speaking to TeeUp this week, MGA secretary Datuk Zulkifli Ismail said amidst all the struggles to survive in this “harsh (pandemic) environment” it was pleasing to note that “no one had gone under”.
“We must remember that the golf industry has been as adversely affected just as the rest of society has, and indeed, the business world. And as we speak, the golf clubs are battling to make ends meet, but we have yet to be advised of any one of them closing down.
“This is good. It shows that the stakeholders in golf, while following the SOPs (standard operating procedures) laid down the Ministry of Health and the other relevant authorities are soldering on –continuing their battle to stay afloat. It is not easy, but they are managing.”
Saujana Golf & Country Club general manager, S.A. Nathan, who has more than 30 years experience in the industry, echoed those sentiments and added they, like the other clubs spoken with this week, were reeling from the affects of the pandemic but doing all they could to adjust to the new demands and “continue to get by”.
“It’s a big struggle, ” said Nathan. “But we have, and are continuing to make adjustments in the way we operate.
“For instance, the policy of using one buggy for one golfer obviously hurts the generation of income, but it is necessary to help the fight against the virus.
“Like the other clubs, we adhere to the SOPs laid down. Also, we are not admitting any visitors during this period and this too has its price to pay. But again, it is necessary and we will do it to safeguard our members and their families.”
Nathan said they were especially pleased to have held their club championship “just days before” the suspension of tournaments that came with the recent conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO)
“We held the seniors’ championship a fortnight before that, so we are were fortune to get them done before the new CMCO, ” he said. “And congratulations go to Carl Lund and Wong Jay Lyn.”
One-handicapper Lund won the men’s title with a three-day 221 total, having carded rounds of 73,76 and 75, while Jay Lyn, playing off an 11, won a fourth ladies crown with a 255 total.
Jonas Lind (plus-2 hcp) was runner-up in the men’s category with a 244 total and Eric Foo (hcp 2) third on 232.
June Yap was second in the ladies’ section, a shot back on 256, and Laetisha Poon third with 269.
Given the present scenario there is little indication if the suspension of tournaments might be lifted when the Movement Control Order comes up for review on Tuesday.
But the one thing we can be sure of is that the golf clubs will be doing all they possibly can to keep the wheels turning and the golfers out there on the course playing.
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