Millbrook able to adapt to pandemic guidelines

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Millbrook Golf & Country Club had to make some changes to how things worked around the golf course because of COVID-19, but with restrictions being lifted there’s hope for a return to normalcy.

General Manager Colby Scarborough said as the pandemic continued and restrictions became more stringent the club made the decision to only allow members to use the course.

Members would drive up and sign in, then take one cart as their own to traverse the course.

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Tee times were spread out every 10 minutes to prevent a large number of people gathering at a specific spot, and the food and beverage services were only offered curbside.

As more community members went into quarantine Scarborough said Millbrook actually saw an increase in memberships.

“When everything shut down our side of things picked up. They felt safe being out there and were just enjoying themselves,” Scarborough said.

This was in part because the facilities were closed to non-members, so people who used to use the club without a membership signed up.

On top of that Scarborough said people wanted an escape and way to spend time outside, which is why more people flocked to the course.

However, there were changes made to the course like the closure of water coolers, prevention of members using the driving range, removal of rakes from bunkers and a change in policy regarding flag sticks to make sure people could golf in a safe environment.

Upkeep and other necessary maintenance of the course and facilities carried on during the pandemic.

With limited staff, Scarborough said there are members who volunteer their time to keep the course they love beautiful, which was especially helpful during the pandemic.

“We have three guys on staff that take care of things, of course, but we also have member volunteers that help out any way they can,” Scarborough said.

Several golf tournaments had been scheduled to take place at Millbrook in April, but had to be postponed.

Scarborough said with restrictions being lifted the hope is to hold those tournaments in the upcoming months because they’ll bring in golfers from other areas to enjoy the facilities.

Another priority will be to get the food and beverage aspect of things rolling again, along with reopening the clubhouse, so golfers can socialize with each other.

“(I’m hoping to reopen) to have people come sit down and watch TV after a round of golf. I’d like them to hang around the golf courses and use the social aspects (of golf),” Scarborough said.

The pool is set to reopen in two weeks and Scarborough is hoping those plans will progress as normal as more restrictions are lifted.

When it does open, as with the rest of the facilities, the priority will be safety for community members who come to Millbrook.

Scarborough said safety has been the main concern during the pandemic and that won’t change even with some restrictions being lifted. “They knew what we were doing for their safety. We brought people together that weren’t normally here. It’s been great for us and great for people to enjoy the fresh air,” Scarborough said.