“Golf offers an opportunity to exercise and compete safely”

  • Kidd

    David McLay Kidd with golf course shaper Joe Hancock and design partner Nick Schaan

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

David McLay Kidd talks to GCA about how the coronavirus has impacted his projects and the outlook for the golf industry.

“So far, projects have only slowed, nothing has stalled yet, or even threatened to do so,” said Kidd. “It seems everyone sees this as a short-term thing, not the same as a financial recession… at least not yet anyway!

“We have one construction project in Seattle that paused under the governor’s mandate but has now restarted under special permission. A plethora of precautions have been required, including staggered working hours, lots of social distancing and the sanitising of equipment, certainly not protocols that would be easy to use in the long term.”

The virus has prevented Kidd from doing any commercial air travel. Kidd is a pilot though, and has been able to fly a small plane, which he says has helped during this time. He has also been doing plenty of video conferencing, phone calls and lots of planning during the US lockdown.

“Assuming we can get back to something approaching normal by mid-summer, I think we will see minimal impact and a full economic recovery with 18 months,” said Kidd. “If, however, we see wave after wave and rolling restrictions, then this is going to get much more painful.

“Golf is one of the few sports played outside with zero contact, so it offers an opportunity to exercise and compete safely.”