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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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How Has Working From Home Affected Golf?

Working remotely has provided greater schedule flexibility for many people over the past year. It's also had a significant impact on golf.
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February Rounds Down; Indicators Still Good

February’s decline in play was the first notable year-over-year drop in rounds (outside of last year’s course-shutdown period) since May of 2019.
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A Big Drop in Golf Course Closures

There was a 31% decline in 18HEQ course closures in 2020, the largest drop on record. Could golf be approaching the end of its 15-year market correction?
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Harold Varner Sees Opportunity to ‘Give Back’ Through Youth on Course Partnership

Harold Varner III knows first-hand the importance of affordable access to golf. Now, Varner is giving back through an expanded partnership with Youth on Course.

3 min read
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February 2021 National Rounds Played

February rounds were down 4.7% nationwide compared to a year ago, when play for the month had been up 19% before the pandemic hit the U.S.

< 1 min read
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Cracking the Code

There’s a multi-million dollar question floating around the industry these days: How do we retain more golfers, particularly in light of the extraordinary inflow of returners and first-timers in 2020 (+27% vs. ‘19)?

3 min read
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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

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

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?

2 min read

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

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

Golf KPIs for 2020

A shot in the arm: Something that has a sudden and positive effect on something,…

4 min read

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

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