The uptick in May and June play has improved the industry’s long-term prospects of recovering from the approximately 20 million rounds lost in March and April.
In a significant boost for public golf in Washington D.C., the National Links Trust (NLT) has been selected to negotiate a long-term lease for the three municipal facilities in the nation’s capital with backing from architects Tom Doak, Gil Hanse and Beau Welling, developer Mike Keiser and Troon Golf.
Golf Travel - What's the Impact?
While equipment sales and play have been staging a strong comeback, the same can't be said for golf travel. NGF consumer research is signaling that overall trip volume could be down 35% to 40% this year.
Consider this: TSA airport checkpoint data is showing the number of air travelers in the U.S. is off about 75% versus last year and recent norms, having stalled a bit in the past few weeks. And most airlines are now projecting limited Q3 recovery.
Long Drives: How Far Are Golfers Willing to Go?
Most golfers with chronic wanderlust tell us they’ll be driving to their golf destinations this year -- and not necessarily close to home. Two-out-of-three say they are willing to drive more than four hours each way for a golf getaway, and those with a trip still planned for this year tell us they’ll spend an average of six to seven hours in the car just getting to the first tee. That’s why U.S. golf resorts and destinations continue to aggressively target the drive-in market.
Changes in Travel Intent
The following map shows how intent to travel to various locations (by core golfers living east of the Mississippi) has changed since the beginning of the year. Trips out west by “Easterners” appear to be drastically fewer, while southeast golf destinations may suffer the least, owing to the very large number of golfers living within driving distance. Core golfers are defined as those who played 8-or-more rounds over the past 12 months.
Ask the NGF
What information would most help your business?
Golf is a sport that by its nature is conducive to social distancing. Here’s how the physical distancing trend among golfers has changed over time.
As the number of coronavirus cases have increased nationwide, core golfers have expressed a heightened…
The Sheep Ranch not only is among a limited number of new courses to open in the U.S. this year, but made its debut amid a pandemic that contributed to more than half of the nation’s courses being temporarily closed just two months ago.
The NGF’s latest nationwide survey of U.S. golf facilities shows that 98% were open to play as of the week beginning June 1, just 1 1/2 months after half the courses in the country were closed.
At one point in mid-April, as many as 19 states had restrictions on golf, either at a statewide or local level. The following is an overview of how governmental executive orders affected golf operations nationwide.
Using Sagacity Golf data, we take a deeper, data-driven look at engagement in several key golf markets, comparing 2020 weekly rounds volume to the same period over the previous three years.
The equipment industry is the most commercially visible sector in golf, with clubs and balls accounting for an almost $2.9 billion annual market that’s driven by golf being one of the nation’s leading participation sports.
Mike Ehrmann was also one of the select golf “fans” on site for the recent TaylorMade Driving Relief charity event at Seminole Golf Club. The Getty photographer was also responsible for perhaps the most iconic image of professional golf during the coronavirus era. Here’s how it happened.
NGF News & Reports
The NGF extends a warm welcome to the newest members of its growing community, both facilities and businesses.
The Golf Industry Report is now available to NGF members, offering a high-level overview of the business of golf and the health of the game in 2019.
The NGF’s 2020 Rounds Played Summary, which provides a contextual overview of the 441 million rounds of golf played throughout the U.S. in 2019, is now available and free to download for NGF members.