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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

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

U.S. Facility Financial Health Update

In 2009 and 2016, roughly a quarter of U.S. public golf courses admitted to being in bad shape, financially. The NGF has re-examined the subject of facility health amid the turbulence of 2020 and here's where things stand now, among both public and private courses.
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80 / 20

In examining the pandemic-induced lift golf has experienced, it’s become clear that a certain 20% of existing customers are contributing disproportionately.
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After September Surge, Rounds +8.7% Year-to-Date

September saw the biggest monthly jump in rounds all year, up almost 26% versus a year ago, moving the industry to +9% nationally over a year ago.
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October 2020 National Rounds Played

October rounds were up 32.2% nationally year-over-year, another record-setting increase for 2020 play.

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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.

5 min read

September 2020 National Rounds Played

September rounds were up 25.5% nationally year-over-year, the biggest monthly increase yet in 2020.

2 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.

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Following spring shutdowns that saw more than half of U.S. golf courses temporarily close due the coronavirus, seasonality or a combination of the two, more than 98% of facilities had reopened by the month of June. In most areas nationwide, play has been booming ever since. 

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.

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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. 

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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

Amid Golf’s Surge, Only This U.S. State Has Seen Rounds Drop

Rounds of golf were up year-over-year in every single state in the continental U.S. for the months of June, July and August. There’s a caveat there.

4 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

9-Hole Play Is Up During Pandemic

Whether its core golfers or occasional, nine-hole rounds of golf are up during the pandemic. See just how much.

2 min read

General Interest

Golf Travel – What’s the Impact?

Three out of four golf travelers say they’re willing to drive more than four hours each way for a golf getaway, and those with a trip still planned for 2020 indicate they’ll spend an average of six to seven hours in the car just getting to their destination. It’s why U.S. golf resorts and destinations should — and are — continuing to aggressively target their drive-in markets.

4 min read

Golf Equipment Sales Hit Record $331M for August

Total golf equipment sales were $331 million in August, extending a record-setting summer for the retail side of the business. 

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Record-Setting July for Golf Equipment Sales

Total on- and off-course golf equipment sales were $388.6 million in July, a single-month record since Golf Datatech began tracking golf retail sales in 1997.

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NGF News & Reports

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

Half of the NGF’s eight-member Board of Directors has been selected to Golf Inc.’s 2020 list of the 25 Most Powerful People in Golf.

2 min read

NGF New Members – October 2020

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

2 min read