Golf Booms in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic Holding Many Industries Back, 2020 has Provided a Boom for Golf 

Throughout March and April of this year, many golf clubs, facilities, and organizations were forced to shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, despite many lengthy shutdowns, we are seeing that only a few months later, that golf has been as busy as it has ever been.

Central Links Golf has seen great participation in 2020 events and has aimed to make sure golfers can be healthy and safe while continuing to provide quality events for players, staff, volunteers, and member clubs. 

Executive Director of Central Links Golf, Doug Habel, says “Golf has been one of the few outlets for people in 2020. We have seen an increase in participation across the board in our tournaments, and tee times have been extremely difficult to come by. The COVID-19 protocols we put in place, as well as those put in place at facilities, have seemed to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 through golf” when commenting on the successes seen in 2020.

As for the data, the numbers speak for themselves.

Across all Central Links Golf Member Clubs, there has been a 41.45% increase in rounds posted to GHIN handicaps in 2020, resulting in 880,697 total rounds posted in GHIN this year (as of October 27th). A few significant club increases include Lake Quivira Country Club in Lake Quivira, KS and The Deuce at The National in Parkville, MO, both seeing 72% and 69% increases in rounds posted this year, respectively (both increasing from about 9,000 rounds in 2019 to over 16,000-17,000 rounds in 2020 so far). 

As far as the national ranks go, according to the National Golf Foundation’s “The Q”, there was a 19-25% increase in rounds played during July, August, and September. The summer months provided an increase in rounds by nearly 27 million… now that is a lot of golf!

While there has been this golfing boom this year, clubs, facilities, and organizations have still been able to maintain consistent protocols to keep golfers safe when attending. The PGA website provides some operational examples during COVID-19 to get “Back2Golf”, and some of these examples are listed below.

  • Clubhouses enforce mandated mask policies
  • Single-rider carts, which are always sanitized, are encouraged when riding
  • Pin modifications, plus removal of rakes, trash cans, and ball washers have helped reduce the mass touching of shared surfaces

When speaking to member clubs, Central Links Golf hears the impact of the golf rush that 2020 has brought. Baile Stephenson, Club Services and Marketing Manager at Central Links Golf says “Our area clubs continue to report record numbers of rounds. Ultimately, we are happy to be here providing opportunities to link communities and generations together through the game of golf.” 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but also any time that the golfing industry is facing a challenge, the community wants to do all that it can to provide people the opportunity to play this wonderful game we call golf. 

Member Club Spotlight: The Amateur Open

A unique, new golf competition in Kansas City and Kansas will aim to benefit Youth on Course.

The Amateur Open aims to make every round of golf exciting and rewarding through a summer-long competition. Golfers can simply post their scores from their rounds to get on a region-wide Leaderboard and win gift certificates to local golf establishments.

How it works:

  1. Men and women 21+ can Register in TheAmateurOpen of KC club for $50 (if you already have a handicap, you can still register on the platform by paying $30); Players can use special promo code WEL20 for this inaugural season and save $20.
  2. Pick a partner and play on any course and set of tees; golfers can compete as a team or individual or both ($5 for each competition). A portion of this fee will directly benefit Youth on Course in Kansas City.
  3. Upload the picture of your completed scorecard to get on Weekly and Season leaderboards; don’t forget to post your scores on to your GHIN Handicap.
  4. Play a minimum of 8 rounds between June 30 – September 6 to become eligible for season points race prizes.
  5. At the end of the season, there will also be an 18-hole Amateur Open Championship.

The idea:

The Amateur Open is made up of working professionals who are passionate about the game of golf. Founder, Som Chilukuri says “We are really passionate about the game especially since it makes competition across skill levels possible, more so with the World Handicap System. We realized that there is no real platform for golfers to connect with a larger picture across a region or season. Leagues are typically limited to a course and a group. We thought it would be really cool to make each round count for every golfer and in relation to all the golfers in the area and that’s how this idea came up.”

The club emphasizes three main themes:

  1. Celebrate the “compete with yourself” aspect of the game
  2. Create winning possibilities across skill levels
  3. Foster vibrant community of recreational, yet competitive golfers

Chilukuri says it best “golf to us is an avenue to unify people in a great competitive setting with no barriers at all on skill levels, age, and gender or whatsoever. And with The Amateur Open, we are able to do that without needing to physically come together at a single event or course”

Support for The Amateur Open:

Central Links Golf supports The Amateur Open in its values and mission to create competitive golf opportunities while bringing the community together. CLG has consulted with The Amateur Open to provide League Management best practices, making it a certified Central Links Golf League.

The Amateur Open is also supported by an Advisory Panel from Incub8 Startup Studios, a Silicon Valley-based technology incubation company.

Youth on Course:

“We are excited that 10% of each round’s proceeds will directly benefit Youth on Course,” says Doug Habel, Executive Director of Central Links Golf. Youth on Course allows junior golfers in our region to play golf at participating facilities for only $5 (or less) per round. This program has allowed junior golfers in our community access to playing golf when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to play. Learn more at

Interested in learning more about The Amateur Open?

Visit: to register.

Re-Open Open: Great Success

136 golfers from across Kansas City and Kansas played in a Region-Wide Net Stableford Event this past weekend. The format was simple, play at a local club and participate with your partner in a fun, competitive event.

Teams were comprised of men, women, and mixed genders.

Patrick Anderson and Mike Thompson took home the overall win, carding 45 Stableford points. The team played their round at Tiffany Greens.

The event resulted in a 4-way tie for 2nd place at 44 Stableford points.

Other notable teams include the mixed partner duo Chuck and LouAnn Buss who had 43 points. Shirley West and Carol Collins also fared well with 43 points. Both teams played at Winfield Country Club.

The father/daughter team comprised of Gary and Megan Lucas tied for 12th place with 42 points. The team participated through The Topeka Country Club.

Top participating clubs include Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays, KS who had 11 teams and Winfield Country Club in Winfield, KS who had 13 teams participate.

The Re-Open Open directly benefitted Central Links Golf Member Clubs by awarding the top performing golfers gift certificates to be used at Member Club prior to June. We recognize that Member Clubs have been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and we wanted to support them through this event.

Virgil Parker | Award Announced

Brian Boston, of Hutchinson, KS, a past board member of the Kansas Golf Association who has volunteered as a rules official for more than 30 years, has been chosen as a recipient of the Virgil Parker Award. 

A longtime North Central Section Chairman for the Kansas Junior Golf Association, Boston also served on the Kansas Golf Association Board of Directors representing Prairie Dunes Country Club from 2005 to 2010.

Boston was a member of the USGA Public Links Championship Committee from 2008 to 2010. 

Created in 1997, the Virgil Parker Award is given at the discretion of the Executive Committee to those individuals that have made an impact on golf and golfers in Kansas through significant volunteer efforts.  The award is named after a man that was a volunteer leader of the Kansas Golf Association even during a successful amateur golfer career in the Wichita area.  Virgil Parker was an expert of the Rules of Golf, a president of the Kansas Golf Association, and a member of the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame.

“Brian’s longtime support and promotion of junior golf in the central part of the state for over 30 years and support of amateur golf in the Sunflower State is the personification of what the Virgil Parker Award stands for,” said Casey Old, Director of Rules & Competitions-Kansas.  “We are proud to recognize his countless days of service and giving back to the game that we all love.”

Past Recipients

Merle Reynoldson, Junction City
Gary Conover, Wichita
Bill Knox, Salina
Lew Golden, Topeka
Jerry Goforth, Lawrence
Larry Barrett, Colby
Scott Brooks, Wichita
Jack Simpson, Wichita
Bill Conrey, McPherson
Brian Boston, Hutchinson 


The Walking Golfer’s Guide to Golf Gear

Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of golfers choosing to walk over riding in a cart. We’ve been a big fan of this trend for years, as walking is said to be good for heart health and weight loss, among several other health benefits. As a staff, we put together a list of our favorite golf products for walking the course.

Get a push cart.

The stigma for golfers who use a push cart isn’t what it used to be. After Dr. Neil Wolkodoff, medical director of the Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science conducted a study on the physical benefits of using a push cart, golfers began seeing push carts as a competitive advantage. He is quoted in this Golf Digest article saying “people who push a cart have a lot fewer [health] issues, and a lot less potential for issues. The golf swing is tough on the back no matter how you look at it. If you can use a push cart and keep one more stress away from the back that’s a great thing.” As for what type of push cart to get, we recommend Clicgear. Customize your color and swag all you want, this push cart is lightweight and easy to travel with from course to course.

Put your walking shoes on.

Our staff raves about the performance of FootJoy’s MyJoy Pro SL (Women’s Link). A simple Google search will prove this model has been named The #1 Shoe in Golf. Made with Fined Tuned Foam, this shoe is perfect for walking the course.

Sun protection is key.

When you are walking, you don’t have the added shade protection that you might find in a cart. Here are some of our favorite products for keeping your skin out of the sun.

SParms Sun Sleeves – The market has really grown for golfers wearing sun-protective clothing. SParms has been very popular on the LPGA Tour and the company has styles for both men and women. Sun sleeves are designed to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun sleeves from SParms are accredited with UPF50+ by ARPANSA, as they are an Australian company. Contrary to some belief, sun sleeves create a cooling effect on the skin when worn.

Alba Botanica Maximum Sunscreen– This Reef Safe sunscreen is easy to apply and is made without harmful ingredients. Proper use is important in order for sunscreen to work as intended. Read more about sunscreen safety here.

Prizm Golf from Oakley – These sunglasses were made for golfers. Oakley claims the Prizm model is engineered to help you spot transitions between the fairway, fringe and rough, and gauging distance with accuracy to help you read the course better.

It’s all in the bag.

Whether you are into an athletic style or traditional, these bag options have you covered.

PING – A classic athletic golf bag, made to be carried. The Hoofer Lite model weighs in a whopping five pounds, making it the perfect carry bag.

Nelson Hill – Each Nelson Hill bag is uniquely handcrafted in limited quantities in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. Made from heavy waxed canvas and thick, luxurious Horween leather, this bag is made for style and function.

No more rangefinders.

Our Executive Director, Doug Habel, is a big fan of the Golfshot App – Whether you are using an Apple Watch or another smart device, this app will help you play your best on nearly any course. Some features include GPS distances, scoring & statistics, Golfscape AR, GHIN Handicap Index, and voice assistant.

Whether you have been walking for years or just started last week, we hope you find these suggestions helpful! We’re always on the hunt for the next great golf gadget. What are some of your favorite golf products you can’t live without?

Ladies Golf Gab

Join us for women’s golf conversations, virtually.

We are feeling the itch to get out and play some golf, however, we know that might not be possible for most women throughout KC and KS. 

We will be hosting a weekly webchat with Central Links Golf staff and area female golf professionals covering all things golf – Rules, Handicapping, swing tips, fitness, stretching, drills, and more. Get your golf on with our golf nerds.


Sally Krystyn – Tuesday, March 31
Courtney Mahon – Tuesday, April 7
Penny Hickman – Tuesday, April 13
Kristen Samp – Tuesday, April 21
Wendi Brandt – Tuesday, April 28
Registration is free. All webinars will be held from 9:30-10:15 AM

Session One Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the Handout; Click Here for Penalty Area Slides
Penalty Area Videos:
Lateral Relief
Red & Yellow Penalty Areas
Back on the Line Relief Procedure
If you are interested in doing online Yoga with Sally Krystyn you can join the Golf+Yoga+Life Facebook Group or email her for the information at

Session Two Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the handout

Session Three Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the handout from Penny Hickman
Click Here to view the Playing Conditions Calculation handout

Session Four Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view the WHS Handout
Click Here to view Kristen’s slides
Take the Rules of Golf Q&A Survey for next week!

Watch Kristen’s Course Management Videos
Intro Video
Managing Creeks
Putting from the Fringe
Mental Tip
Make a Strategic Plan
Plan for a Bogey
Plan for Adversity

Session Five Recap

Click Here to watch the recorded session
Click Here to view Wendi’s Slides

USGA | Announcement

The USGA announced this afternoon that scores with any modified hole are permissible and should be posted for handicap purposes. This announcement comes in response to the many different safety measures golf facilities are taking at this time. These recommendations will be in effect throughout the United States until further notice by the USGA.

Click here to view the USGA Announcement.

Click here for Covid-19 Rules and Handicapping FAQs. (Includes information regarding bunkers/bunker rakes, scorecards, local rules regarding the flagstick, etc.)

New Member Club – Brough Creek National

Brough Creek National – a backyard golf course gone viral. Established in 2015 when Ben Hotaling and Zach Brough built the first hole in their Kansas City backyard. Fast forward a few years later, they’ve gone viral on social media, are growing the backyard course and testing their backyard golf course design company.

“We did nothing with it until May of 2018 when I started blogging about designing a backyard wedge range on the property on No Laying Up’s message board called the Refuge”, Hotaling says. Followers of the project got involved and loved the concept. Over the next few months, Hotaling designed a “dream” routing for the property – released October of 2018 onto the internet. More people got interested and kept pushing along the narrative. It showed that there was serious interest in this type of unconventional golf.

The Takeoff

“We wrote up a little member welcome letter for anyone that wanted to join so long as they do something to push the project forward – be it introduce someone to the concept, design a logo, donate a piece of equipment – anything they are good at or want to contribute. People really loved to be a part of the process, so we made it very public by creating a website and Twitter page,” Hotaling said. They decided they were going to try and crowdfund the entire project there would be no charge to become a member or play the course, but if members really loved the idea and wanted to see the course built, they could make a donation of their choosing. Golfers couldn’t get enough of the idea and the crowdsourcing raised over $20,000. “At that point, it was too late to give up, so we went forward with construction,” Hotaling said.

The Concept

Brough Creek National is a 7-hole routing with 6 greens ranging from 60 yards to 140 yards in length. All the holes are designed with architectural intent, thoughtful design, minimalism/naturalism, and most importantly FUN. The concept isn’t necessarily to play the course in a classic way. The club wants to promote match play and specifically in the format of HORSE. All greens are accessible from nearly everywhere on the property. The idea is to go out with a friend or two, grab a beer, pick a hole and play to it. Best score wins the hole and picks the next one. The ultimate golfer’s playground.

The Membership

“We have a lot of media types that are members at BCN,” says Hotaling, “the folks from No Laying Up and The Fried Egg are extremely supportive and members at BCN. Rob Collins (Architect of the internet famous Sweetens Cove) is a supporting member. Jon Cavalier from “Linksgems” is a big supporter as well (he does golf photography for major publications).” The best part is absolutely anyone can be a member at no cost.

Today, there are 1200 worldwide members and 550 hours of work building the course by hand and they are nearly ready to grass the property. Zach Brough, Evan Bissell, Mark Robinson, Corbin Mihelic, Matt Preuss, and Ben Hotaling founded the club.

The Future

First things are finishing construction of BCN. They hope to open in late summer/early fall this year. “We hope to use BCN as a prototype for the concept of unconventional short courses as a central meeting place for communities across the US and even the world,” said Hotaling, “Building membership and bringing people together is the most important thing you can do in this world and we feel like the BCN concept is a great jumping off point for doing just that.”

Learn more and track their progress on social media: @someguysbackyard

Backyard Golf Course Design:

Become a member:


Most recently, the course was featured on KCTV 5 News and Club & Resort Business.

Lindsborg Golf Course

What and Where is Lindsborg Golf Course

Lindsborg Golf Course is the public course of the historic Lindsborg, Kansas known for its association with Swedish heritage and the biennial Svensk Hyllningsfest. This course encourages families to enjoy the course, regardless of skill. It is also a great course for golfers at any level, providing challenges and beautiful scenery along the way.

History of the Course

Lindsborg Golf Course opened in 1960; this parkland type course was designed by Hilding Jaderborg with the help of many members of the community at the time. When it originally opened, it had unique cottonseed hull greens rather than traditional sand greens, as well as the No. 9 tee box being elevated so you could see over the hill, literally making you climb to tee off. One of the longest-running tournaments at the course is the Ol’ Stuga tournament which has been held at the course for 40 years now and is provided by the Ol’ Stuga bar, a well-known bar in the city. This year the Ol’ Stuga tournament is being changed to the Ol’ Stuga Invitational.

Experience Sweden without the Cost

Lindsborg, nicknamed little Sweden USA, is a great place to take a golf trip to as there is plenty to do in this beautiful city. This year the city is celebrating its 150th anniversary as well as the 2019 Svensk Hyllningsfest, a celebration held on every odd-numbered year celebrating the Swedish pioneers who settled the Smoky Valley in 1868 – 1869. The festival features arts and crafts, special foods, ethnic music, and other special entertainment while Swedish folk dancers and musicians add to the flavor of the festival. Some other famous attractions the city has to offer are the Karpov International School of Chess (1 of the 15 worldwide), The Wild Dala Horses (one of the 8 wonders of Kansas), historic churches, as well as more that can be found at The Lindsborg Visitors Bureau.

Message from the Course

This course is very welcoming, people of all ages can enjoy a relaxing round of golf. LGC is continuing to work to improve their facilities and the members of the course truly have made this community special. The volunteers and both men and women’s leagues go above and beyond to make the LGC a great course. The course will be getting new RXV Elite Lithium Battery carts starting this year, new bathrooms in the clubhouse and improvement projects are being done around the course.


For more information about the course and upcoming tournaments you can reach Lindsborg Golf Course at (785)-227-2244 or visit their website at