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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

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

Equipment Sales Continue Run

The 2021 first-half momentum for golf equipment sales carries over from second half of 2020. Is it better than 2019?
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Golf: There’s An App for That

App use is becoming prevalent in all walks of life, including the golf world. There are now hundreds of golf-centric apps available and usage continues to climb.
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May Rounds Climb as Summer Months Loom as Measuring Stick

May rounds were up year-over-year. Now, with summer upon us, is when it really starts getting interesting – in terms of comps – for the golf industry.
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June 2021 National Rounds Played Report

In the first real test of the sustainability of the 2020 summer surge, June 2021 rounds were essentially equal to June of last year.

< 1 min read

Interview: Troon President & CEO Tim Schantz

Troon’s Tim Schantz, a member of the NGF’s Board of Directors, discusses the impact of the coronavirus on the golf industry, investment and opportunity in golf, and his company’s continued growth.

4 min read
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Golf Apps Continue to Gain Adoption

More than three-quarters of Core golfers have at least one golf-specific app on their phone, up from 56% in 2018 and 37% in 2011. It speaks to the evolution of golf as well as the effort to enhance the golf experience for an ever-connected segment of consumers.

3 min read
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May 2021 National Rounds Played Report

National rounds played for May 2021 were up over a year ago, when golf operations were still limited due to the coronavirus in some parts of the country.

< 1 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

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Golfers

Women in Golf – Progress and Opportunity

Seven years ago, the proportion of all female golfers was 27%. Since then, the volume of female participants has grown by 43%. And more opportunity exists.

2 min read

Nobody Played More Golf In 2020 Than This Texas Retiree

As golf provided an escape from daily coronavirus anxiety for millions of Americans in 2020, nobody played more than 61-year-old Texas resident Barry Gibbons.

7 min read

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

Golf Courses

Golf is Getting Off Course

As golf’s overall participation base has increased, we’re left with three closely-sized and mutually-exclusive groups.

< 1 min read

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

General Interest

Golf Travel Shows Signs of Roaring Back

Limitations on golf trips in 2020 have created a bottled-up demand to return to golf travel. NGF surveyed golfers and resort operators to quantify the interest.

4 min read

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.

< 1 min read

Golf KPIs for 2020

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

4 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