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    Resources and programs to prepare golf course owners and operators for dealing with the myriad uncertainties, disruption of business, and potential outcomes of the coronavirus pandemicRead More

August 2020

Desert Mountain TV A Pandemic Diversion That Will Likely Last

By Steve Eubanks

The COVID-19 shutdowns were 99.9% miserable. But buried in that .1% were some lasting positive impacts. Zoom and Microsoft Teams, for example, broke all remaining barriers to videoconferencing and eliminated most work-from-home hang-ups. People discovered that takeout food is much more than pizza and Chinese. And we all learned that binge-watching shows like “Tiger King” has lasting, deleterious effects on your psyche. 

But some other trends, especially in the golf space, have the potential to carry on into the future. Trolleys, push and/or pull carts, have made a remarkable comeback and will likely remain relevant. Virtual lessons through FaceTime and other interactive means opens a world of possibilities for instructors, students and clubs. And marketing departments developed new and creative ways to keep in touch with members and guests.

One of the biggest of those tools was YouTube and the fact that most people watch video through some form of streaming service.

Desert Mountain, near Phoenix, is a prime example. Faced with a near total shutdown, the high-end real estate and golf community had to figure out a way to remain close to not only its existing members but those prospects who might buy in the future.

So, they reconfigured their existing YouTube Channel, Desert Mountain TV, into an ongoing news service. With the help of Golf Channel, that had shot commercials and promotional videos for the property, the club was able to package B-roll footage with some new content from its staff – things like “Turf Talk” with a member of the golf staff, “Pro Talk” from one of the instructors, or stay-at-home cooking lessons from the executive chef. Throw in virtual home tours and Desert Mountain TV not only became a viable entertainment option during the pandemic but one that will likely continue for much longer. 
“As one of the largest private clubs in the country, Desert Mountain TV will continue to evolve and include more content about who we are and what it’s like to be here as a member and residents,” said Kim Atkinson, the club’s director of marketing. “Plans to produce a series of virtual cooking classes and mixology demonstrations are in the works and will likely continue well past the pandemic.”

It will likely be one of many inventions, born of necessity, that will live on long after the crisis is forgotten.


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