It’s a tough golf course. Once drowning in debt, the Powell Golf Club fought its way back to operating in the black. Then came the pandemic — and it’s now weathering that storm, …
It’s a tough golf course. Once drowning in debt, the Powell Golf Club fought its way back to operating in the black. Then came the pandemic — and it’s now weathering that storm, too.
The course applied for a $44,302 loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns.
In order for the loan to be forgiven, the borrower must put 75% of the loan toward payroll, with the remainder going toward mortgage and utilities.
Jerry Herweyer, president of the club, said they shouldn’t have a whole lot of trouble meeting that goal. The club does not have a mortgage — the entire 18 holes are owned by the City of Powell — and labor is a big chunk of its operating expenses. In total, the course has 13 part- and full-time employees.
“There’s a lot of spring maintenance out there to do,” Herweyer said.
While public health orders shut down the golf course bar and pro shop, and limited the number of people in the clubhouse to two, the club has gotten a lot of people out playing golf. Golfers’ tee times had been spread from 10 to 15 minutes apart to help space people out, but the rounds were still going.
“We’ve been actually pretty busy,” Herweyer said.
Despite people paying greens fees to play a round of golf, much of the course’s revenue comes from people shopping and having some drinks after they finished their round. While the course could sell drinks through a window, people weren’t able to sit around and talk.
The club has been taking a hit while the health orders were in place. Earlier this month, the county received state permission to loosen some of the restrictions and allow outdoor dining, which allows the golf club to put seating on the deck — so long as the tables are spaced out. Limited indoor dining is expected to be coming soon, but in the meantime, that’s going to help the club get through this thing.
“Golf is a social game,” Herweyer noted.