Jersey Meadow Golf Course on par for busiest month in decades

Matt Jones, chief golf professional at the Jersey Meadow Golf Course, stands on the fairway in August 2016. Jones said May 2020 is on pace to be the busiest month in the course's history since at least 2000. (Danica Smithwick/Community Impact Newspaper)
Matt Jones, chief golf professional at the Jersey Meadow Golf Course, stands on the fairway in August 2016. Jones said May 2020 is on pace to be the busiest month in the course's history since at least 2000. (Danica Smithwick/Community Impact Newspaper)

Matt Jones, chief golf professional at the Jersey Meadow Golf Course, stands on the fairway in August 2016. Jones said May 2020 is on pace to be the busiest month in the course's history since at least 2000. (Danica Smithwick/Community Impact Newspaper)

As business owners across the state try to come up with safe and creative ways to get customers through the door during the coronavirus pandemic, the Jersey Meadow Golf Course is seeing a surge in popularity.

Jersey Meadow, located on Rio Grande Street in the city of Jersey Village, was completely closed in late March and remained closed for the entire month of April due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Matt Jones, who serves as head golf professional at the course. After reopening May 1, Jones said the course is on par for its best month at least since the city assumed ownership in early 2000.

"It hasn't been this busy probably ever," Jones said in a May 26 phone interview. "We're at our maximum. We can't get any busier."

Through May 26, the golf course had brought in about $184,500 for the month of May, putting it on course to potentially reach $220,000 by the end of the month, Jones said. By comparison, in May 2019, the golf course raised about $138,000. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, which Jones said was the best in the course's recorded history, about $184,000 was raised in May.

The record-setting revenue comes as officials said they are limiting the number of tee times per hour, Jones said. People are only allowed to play in groups of four, and instead of having tee times every eight minutes, they have been spread out to every 12 minutes, he said.


"What that does is really help space people out," Jones said. "We literally will see four people, and 10 minutes will go by, and we'll see another four people."

A number of other changes have been implemented at the golf course to try to prevent the spread of the virus, Jones said. Only four people are allowed in the golf pro shop at one time, and only one rider is allowed per golf cart while golfing, he said. Carts are sanitized and completely washed down in between uses.

The city also approved the purchase of new golf carts earlier in the year, before the pandemic, each equipped with a GPS monitoring system and digital scoring, which Jones said removes the need for pencils and score cards. Staff also outfitted each hole with a PVC pipe that keeps golf balls from sinking more than one inch into the hole, so hundreds of golfers do not have reaching into the same holes throughout the day, he said.

The bar and grill is open at 50% capacity, and tables are spaced out in accordance with state guidelines. The course stopped accepting cash payments and handing out receipts since reopening, and every staff member is also required to wear a mask.

"We have probably gone overboard with restrictions," Jones said. "I’m pretty proud of what we’ve come up with."

Despite spacing out tee times, Jones said about 4,360 rounds of golf have still been played in May, up from 3,196 in May 2019. Tee times are largely booked from open until close, Jones said. This past Saturday, May 23, Jones said the course saw 220 rounds and made almost $12,000.

Moving forward, Jones said the course is unlikely to go back to having tee times every eight minutes, which he said can lead to backlogs if too many people are on the course at once. At some point, he said he might move to a "happy medium" by having them every 10 minutes.

Jones said the golf course was having a good year prior to the coronavirus and he is not sure how much of the boon in May can be attributed to the reopening and how much can be attributed to the general upward trend. In the meantime, Jones said he will keep focusing on safety.

"I’m real happy that our business is booming and that we can give people something to do that gets them out of the house," he said. "When you’re playing golf, you can social distance very easily. It’s wide open out here."
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
How Harris County residents can prepare for hurricane season

After the most active hurricane season on record in 2020, Harris County officials said residents should be prepared for the upcoming season starting June 1.

More than 385,600 vaccine doses have been administered in the Cy-Fair area. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
22% of Cy-Fair residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19

As of April 19, about 385,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed to individuals across the 10 ZIP codes within Cy-Fair ISD’s boundaries, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at an April 19 press conference at a mass-vaccination site at NRG Park. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live).
Harris County accepting walk-ins for vaccine at NRG Park

As demand for vaccines has fallen, officials are looking for ways to make them more accessible.

Cy-Fair ISD's mask mandate is set to end June 7. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
End in sight for Cy-Fair ISD's mask mandate, future of virtual learning still uncertain

Superintendent Mark Henry released a statement about the future of the district's mask mandate and virtual learning option.

More COVID-19 cases were confirmed last week in Cy-Fair ISD. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
78 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Cy-Fair ISD schools April 12-18

The district saw about a 9% decrease in new cases confirmed over the previous week.

Early voting runs April 19-27 with the election on May 1. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
See what is on the ballot for May 1 elections in Cy-Fair

April 19 marks the first day of early voting for May 1 elections.

Vaccinations at any of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic's 26 Greater Houston-area locations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only at no cost to the individual or family. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-based Kelsey-Seybold Clinic expands vaccine eligibility to age 16 and older

Vaccinations at any of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic's 26 Greater Houston-area locations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only at no cost to the individual or family.

Harris County residents seeking a COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be required to sign up for a waitlist effective immediately. (Courtesy Texas Children’s Hospital)
COVID-19 vaccines now available on demand in Harris County

The announcement comes as officials say vaccine demand is falling and will soon be in line with supply for the first time.

Customers can find baked goods and more at The Chef's Bag. (Courtesy The Chef's Bag)
The Chef’s Bag market now offering locally made products in Cy-Fair

Chefs Jennifer Burnett and Kevin Mason recently opened a market where community members can purchase products made by local chefs.

Costco Business Centers, of which there are only about 15 in the country, carry different products and provide a different shopping experience to members than do traditional Costco Wholesale stores. (Courtesy Costco Wholesale)
Costco Business Center being built in Stafford; see live music in The Woodlands and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the Houston area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

A grand opening for the local drive-thru coffee spot Mudslinger's has been set for the end of April. (Courtesy Facebook)
Grand opening for Mudslinger's coffee shop set for weekend of April 30

The locally-owned, drive-thru coffee shop will serve specialty coffee, tea, infused energy drinks and breakfast/pastry items.