The National Golf Foundation is doing a great job with weekly updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the golf industry, including gauging the ‘Golf Itch’ factor across the country.  Their recent (week of 4/20/20) Golf Itch Meter was at 80, with 100 representing a Major Itch to play golf.  Golf Pros and Club Operators nationwide are operating in a very fluid environment with ever-changing legislation and implementing measures to safely conduct golf play at their clubs during this pandemic in a manner that eliminates cross-contamination and group gatherings.

With about half of all golf courses in the United States currently open for play with these restrictions, and many more courses working to come back online, Golf Pros and Tournament Committees will be working through logistics on how to conduct golf tournaments at their clubs while maintaining these safety measures.  One of the easiest steps to take to avoid group gatherings is to convert all events and recreational play to assigned tee times rather than organizing any shotgun start tournaments.

As more clubs come back online, golfers will likely be yearning for events at their clubs that can safely offer some pre-round wagering action.  But the outdated method requiring people to be in-person at the club for facilitating wagers won’t allow those important safety measures to be upheld due to excessive group gatherings.  Homestretch Golf’s proprietary paperless platform is the perfect solution.

Follow these steps to safely conduct pre-round wagering for a tournament with assigned tee times using Homestretch Golf:

  1. Have your Homestretch Golf Pro/Admin create the wagering component of your tournament on Homestretch Golf once the field of play is set.
  2. Open up the betting window the day prior to the event.
  3. Send out the Homestretch Golf instructional communications template tailored to fit your club’s specific needs after opening the betting window.  In these communications, stress that once wagers are SAVED on the platform, they are locked in and final.  Unless they are REVIEWED by the participant and subsequently SAVED, they will not be locked in and will not be confirmed.
  4. The Pro/Admin will CONFIRM all SAVED paperless wagers remotely during the open betting window the day prior to the event as well as the morning of the event without needing to speak with the participant.  The mere saving a wager by the participant will trigger the Pro/Admin to CONFIRM the action.
  5. Participants can create as many different paperless wagering sessions as desired, each with as many separate wagers as desired, understanding that once SAVED those wagers are locked in and money will be owed for all saved wagers on the first tee just prior to teeing off.  Some clubs may do this by having a staff member/point person (wearing gloves) collect cash (exact change please!), and some clubs may facilitate wagers via member charges through their shop POS system and take the entire wagering process paperless with no cash.
  6. While the betting window is open, live odds to win will auto-populate and display on the Homestretch Golf platform as the Pro/Admin confirms saved wagers.  This allows participants to make informed wagers based on how the wagers are coming in across the teams.
  7. Receipts are delivered digitally via text or email to participants once their wagers are remotely confirmed.
  8. The Pro/Admin will close the betting window just prior to the first tee time heading out to the golf course.

This process allows for an ample time period for participants to save their paperless wagers on the Homestretch Golf platform remotely, while appropriately shutting down the betting window before the first ball is in the air.  Money can safely be collected in small groups on the first tee, and this process allows for fun golf action at your club for a tournament with assigned tee times.  Homestretch Golf calculates payouts using traditional pari-mutuel math, meaning the losing wagers fund the payouts for each pool of money (win/place/show).  Pros/Admins can also create Homestretch Golf tournaments that offer Win wagers only, Place wagers only, Show wagers only, or any combination thereof.

Golf will come back to full strength in the coming years following this unprecedented pandemic, and in the meantime as people seek ways to get out of the house, golf serves as an amazing outlet for mental health and physical exercise.  Club leadership will need to find new ways to safely deliver enjoyable golf experiences to club members, and Homestretch Golf is here to help!

Not yet a club with a Homestretch Golf Pro/Admin?  

No problem…it is free to create your Homestretch Admin Account to get started!

Click here to learn more about Homestretch Golf or request a support call with Homestretch Golf’s founder and PGA Professional David Knox.