Golf exists in many ways and many places. One extreme is on display with the return of live, competitive golf in sunny Southern Florida. Meanwhile, more than 4,000 miles away, on a small island on Alaska’s inside passage, Muskeg Meadows is preparing for a noteworthy tournament of its own.
For facilities allowing play amid the coronavirus crisis, the following is a rundown of efforts to provide a safe environment for customers and employees.
97% of U.S. golf courses were open for play as of May 24, up from 44% in early April.
• Currently open
• Not yet open or operations suspended temporarily
• Non-sampled golf facilities
The map above represents a sample of approximately one-fifth 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.
After a significant jump in reopenings across all facility types during the first month of May, the percentage of courses that are now open for play continues to close in on 100%. →
Openings by Facility Type
9-Week Trend in Course Openings
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As of late May, the NGF’s ongoing consumer research indicates that the personal financial outlooks for golfers continue to improve, although spending habits remain largely unchanged amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
The biggest obstacles to golf participation remain cost, time, concern about ability and a lack of people to play with. Here’s what some facility operators are doing to break down participation barriers.
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.
Del Ratcliffe fully appreciates the benefits of a Par 3 golf course. He grew up playing one his father built in 1960 on a farm about 10 to 15 miles outside of downtown Charlotte. Today, Ratcliffe owns or operates five facilities in the Charlotte area – four of which feature a Par 3 layout of some fashion.
Given the popularity of alternative night golf activities like Topgolf and the affordability of LED technology, the interest in lighted courses may continue to increase – particularly with smaller courses (9-hole, par-3, executive) or perhaps the final few holes of a traditional 18-hole layout. Learn more about the logistics behind it.
Mike Erhmann 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.
Given the challenges that golf presents, it’s no wonder that many CBD companies are aggressively pushing into what they see as a bountiful market. Golfers seem the ideal demographic for the product. So what are golf retailers seeing?
A weatherproof golf bag cover. Golf gloves inspired by motocross. Push carts and a high-end stroller manufacturer. Those are the products. But these are the personal stories behind three PGA Show entrepreneurs.
NGF News & Reports
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.
The start of a new decade brings the second installment of the National Golf Foundation’s Top 100 Businesses in Golf initiative, an effort that highlights the vitality, size and diversity of the $84 billion golf industry.