Coronavirus golf course costs

A GCSAA survey of more than 450 superintendents offers a snapshot of the virus’s impacts on revenue, maintenance budgets and capital improvement plans.


Coronavirus golf course financial
Image by Freepik

GCSAA and The Toro Co. conducted a survey of golf course superintendents in mid-June regarding the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on their golf course budgets. There were 466 responses to 1,350 surveys sent (35%).

Top survey takeaways:

Nearly half of respondents — 40% — reported their maintenance budgets would be unaffected by COVID-19 restrictions, while 57% said their budgets would be less than initially planned. 3% said their maintenance budgets would be more than planned.

Just over half of respondents — 54% — said they expected to make investments for capital improvements/renovations as planned for 2021. 26% said they would likely postpone investments until next year.

There was an equal split between respondents when it came to plans for capital improvements or renovations in 2020 — 41% said they would proceed as planned, while the same total percentage admitted some change: 7% said spending would be down less than 20%; 4% said spending would be down more than 20%; and 30% said their capital improvement projects for 2020 had been canceled or postponed.

Nearly half of those surveyed — 48% — said their facilities had remained open for play without interruption. At the time of the survey in mid-June, 2% were still closed.

Only 7% of respondents said their facilities’ total revenue had not been affected, and 11% said revenue was up. Total revenue was down less than 20% for 44% of respondents, while 38% said total revenue was down more than 20%.

Of those who said their maintenance budgets would decrease, the average decrease was 15%. For the few who said their budgets would increase, the average increase was 10%.