The COVID epidemic presented unique challenges to area country clubs who were poised to open just as the shutdown began. What was most frustrating was that suddenly most of the members found themselves at home with time to use the club’s facilities – if only they were allowed.
We wrote to five country clubs in our area to inquire about how they were responding to the crisis and only heard back from Scarsdale Golf Club who had lots to communicate about meeting members’ needs while complying with local laws.
Here is what they shared: First they were permitted to open the golf course in March, and though members had to walk rather than drive golf carts, the club reports that usage was unprecedented. In mid-May the driving range opened and members were again permitted to use golf carts, with restrictions. Golfers have been enjoying the course which looks even more beautiful this spring.
The tennis courts were next. The club was able to observe social distancing rules by allowing the use of alternate courts and requiring members to bring their own balls and wear gloves. At the start, players were only permitted to play with other members of their households. Then singles were permitted and this week doubles were given the okay as well. There are still no benches or tables around the courts, which limits socializing, but members are happy to be back on the courts. The regular team seasons were all cancelled as a result.
What about the kids? The club is happy to report that they still plan to hold their popular day camp if they can get the necessary approvals from the Westchester County Department of Health.
Timing for the balance of the re-opening is dependent on the Governor. With Westchester County opening today, the club anticipates that they will open the dining room and snack bar on June 23, but in the interim they came up with a novel and popular program to feed members during the crisis. Since many members were having difficulty food shopping, and also have a required annual food minimum to eat up at the club, Scarsdale Golf Club is offering their own weekly Pop Up Food Market. Each week members can order meat, fish, steak, dairy and produce from the club. The food is procured from the same providers that supply food for its dining room so members are enjoying quality meats and fish at a time when these can be difficult to procure.
Once a week, members can drive up to the club with their car and their order is dropped into their car trunks at curbside pick-up. The club reports that this program is very popular and has received rave reviews.
The club also offered virtual events for their members to enjoy at home including Happy Hour, Trivia Happy Hour, food and beverage recipes, low and high impact fitness work outs and golf and tennis instruction tips. All the virtual activities were created by their management team and sports professionals.
As the weather gets warmer, the club is hopeful that the pool and fitness center will be permitted to open in the beginning of July – but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, the membership is using and enjoying as much of the facility as possible and members are grateful to have this refuge in difficult days.
The club is welcoming new members to their 14-week Summer Guest Program and has many applicants for new members. Learn more at https://www.scarsdalegolfclub.org