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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf

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Who Wants ‘In’?

The flood of new faces on U.S. golf courses in 2020 was noteworthy, even if some gains were offset by the ones who went absent. Who were these new people? And who wanted “in” last year?
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Golf KPIs for 2020

I can’t think of a more appropriate description of the year 2020 and its effect on golf, can you? There hasn’t been this much optimism and new activity in the golf business since the turn of the century – I almost forgot what it felt like. Happy to tell you we’ve wrapped up our 2020…
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What’s Ahead for ‘Zealous’ Golfers?

About 20% of the Core golfer population really upped their engagement in 2020. Can that continue? And who might take this group's place in 2021?
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NGF’s State-of-Industry Graffis Report Now Available

NGF’s Graffis Report, a overview of an unprecedented year for the golf business in 2020, is now available for NGF members.

3 min read
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January 2021 National Rounds Played

Golf’s on-course momentum from 2020 carried into 2021, with January rounds up 21% nationwide.

< 1 min read

Special Thanks to Golf in 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, NGF President and CEO Joe Beditz expresses thanks to everyone in and around golf who helped turn a terrible situation at the start of this year into something positive for the industry.

2 min read
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Record-Setting Rounds for 2020? Not Quite

The U.S. is on pace for 50 million more rounds in 2020 than 2019. Amazing, yes. Record setting? Not quite. Here’s the only year that saw a bigger jump in play.

2 min read

In Spring of 2020, more than half of U.S. golf courses were temporarily closed due the coronavirus, seasonality or a combination of the two. By June, more than 98% of facilities had reopened and surges in play followed as golf was embraced as a safe, healthy outdoor sport that could be played by participants of all ages despite the pandemic. Through the end of the year, more than 75 million additional rounds were played nationwide than the same seven-month stretch in 2019. 

Currently open

Not yet open or operations suspended temporarily

Non-sampled golf facilities

The map above represents a sample of approximately 10% of all golf courses in the U.S., and is intended to provide perspective as to the geography of courses that are either open or have temporarily suspended golf operations.

While not representative of a complete view of golf course availability, it is the most nationally representative sample of courses available in the industry -- one that includes daily fee, private, municipal, resort and residential communities.

Trend in Course Openings

Less than 50% of golf courses were open to play for more than a month during the height of the coronavirus pandemic -- a combination of governmental efforts (state and local) to reduce the spread of the virus as well as seasonality (wintry weather in the northernmost parts of the country).

The percentage steadily increased from the last week of April through mid-May as more than a dozen states lifted bans on golf while others -- most notably California and Florida -- eased significant local restrictions. By early June, no states had restrictions on play.

Ask the NGF

What information would most help your business?

Golfers

Who’s More “Into” Golf?

With many existing golfers playing more frequently in 2020, what do they say about their interest in the game compared to previous years?

2 min read

This Age Cohort Has Been Especially Engaged During Pandemic

As the pandemic stretches on, NGF’s ongoing national participation study shows that 35- to 49-year-old golfers have been especially engaged. 

< 1 min read

The Churn: Retaining and Sustaining Are Crucial

After summer spikes in play and spend, how will the industry retain new golfers and sustain increased levels of play when Covid is finally in the rear view?

2 min read

Golf Courses

Golf Under the Lights

NGF research shows that 50% of golfers express some interest in playing golf at night. Could a lighted course be an option for some operators?

6 min read

Forrest Richardson is New ASGCA President

Forrest Richardson is the new president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), promoting continued creativity and innovation in creating alternative course formats.

2 min read

Bringing Winter Sports to the Golf Course

Winter means the end of golf season in a large swath of the country. But courses in the regions that see snow and frigid temperatures don’t all go unoccupied during cold months. See why.

5 min read

General Interest

Part of Golf’s Rebound: Better Weather

After two years of record-setting precipitation that hampered rounds played numbers, the weather has cooperated (for the most part) in 2020.

< 1 min read

Golf Industry Momentum

Beyond courses and clubs, other consumer-focused sectors in golf are also thriving during the pandemic. Here’s what executives in various sectors of the industry have experienced.

6 min read

U.S. Golf Equipment Sales Set Q3 Retail Record of $1 Billion

U.S. golf equipment retail sales set a Q3 record in 2020 at more than $1 billion.

< 1 min read

NGF News & Reports

NGF’s State-of-Industry Graffis Report Now Available

NGF’s Graffis Report, a overview of an unprecedented year for the golf business in 2020, is now available for NGF members.

3 min read

NGF New Members – December 2020

The NGF extends a warm welcome to the newest members of its growing community, both facilities and businesses.

3 min read

NGF New Members – November 2020

The NGF extends a warm welcome to the newest members of its growing community, both facilities and businesses.

4 min read