COLUMBIA, S.C. — Businesses in the Midlands are feeling the negative impact of a spectator-free Masters Tournament this year.
"We usually host about 300 golfers from all over," said Columbia Country Club's General Manager, Chris Sparrow. "They typically come down, play some golf, and stay in the hotels. It's a big week not only for the Columbia Country Club but for other industries here."
Sparrow says Masters Week is the signal to start the golf season. Those other industries he is referring to are hotels, restaurants, and tourism-related businesses.
"We have all taken a huge hit. It's nothing that we did wrong, that's the frustrating thing," said Seawell's President, Cal Seawell. When your business is struggling, that means there something you're doing wrong. We're at the mercy of the pandemic and the confidence level. People have to confidence to have an event, and not put people in jeopardy."
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With no spectators on the golf course, both business owners say they're taking swings at other ideas to make up some of the lost revenue.
"We saw an uptick in member activity," Sparrow said. "People are playing golf, people using the facility. That didn't make up the loss of Masters Week, but it helps close that gap some."