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How Pinehurst Resort is responding to COVID-19

By |  April 1, 2020 0 Comments

Bob Farren, Pinehurst Resort’s director of golf course maintenance, likens the situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“When that happened, that was kind of a different situation, but it happened and then everyone was emotionally drained by it and affected by it, but we fought our way through it,” Farren says. “The fighting instinct isn’t there that was had in 9/11, so that’s a different emotion, but you’re concerned, and you want to know what’s going on, but no one knows … We’re doing what we can to maintain as much normalcy as we can.”

Dinners and events at the club are canceled, and Pinehurst is telling employees not to come in if they don’t feel well or if they’re afraid to come in. Bigger corporate events that were scheduled within the next eight to 10 weeks have been canceled, but smaller “buddy golf” social trips are still on, for the most part.

The club in Pinehurst, N.C., also has developed a task force comprised of a small group of division heads to share information and stay on top of the situation, which Farren says is “changing and fluid from one hour to the next.”

However, as of Monday, March 16, people are still playing golf at the resort.

“People leave the flagstick in more. They’re not raking bunkers,” Farren says. “You see people’s lifestyles, habits are changing, (but) we have a core of membership who live here, and they love to play golf and they love to be outside, and they’re doing that.”

Looking ahead, Farren believes that Pinehurst will emerge from the outbreak without taking a major hit.

“The fact is that we’re all in the same boat, but I don’t think long-term-wise, the next month or two, it’s going to have a great effect,” he says. “I don’t see us recovering back to the levels that we anticipated for this year, but I think at the end of the year, providing things settle out in the next eight or 10 weeks, I think we’ll be fine.”

He adds, “It’s going to be a study in humanity once this thing is over to see what people did and why they did things.”

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