Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush is an across-the-water destination that expects bounce-back business. Photo: Courtesy North & West Coast Links Golf
While much of the golf industry prospered during the pandemic, due largely to courses being one of the few places where people could safely recreate, the tour operators who make their livings sending American customers to the far corners of the globe to tee it up suffered greatly. So did the clubs and resorts that typically served those clients.
As an outdoor activity, the game may have been regarded more or less as risk-free, but that was only if it did not entail much in the way of travel. A car ride with a couple of close friends or family members was fine, which is why domestic retreats such as Bandon Dunes, Sand Valley and Big Cedar Lodge did so well. But getting on airplanes for trans-Atlantic trips to the classic links courses of, say, Scotland and Ireland was out of the question. And those individuals who liked to cruise across oceans with their sticks and down rivers o...
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