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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

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

With 98% of Courses Open, What Remains Closed?

While almost all golf courses are back in business, some holdouts remain -- from major metro areas and municipalities to a few resorts and military courses. Here are some examples:
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Golf Is Open in All 50 States, But It’s Not Business as Usual

Golf courses are allowed to be open in all 50 states, but that doesn’t mean it’s back to “business as usual.” Operational rules and safety protocols vary from state to state and, in some instances, from county to county.
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85% of Golf Retail Stores Now Open

Approximately 80% of golf retail stores are now open nationwide, up from 4% in early April. More than 60% of pro shops have also reopened at courses around the country.
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April 2020 National Rounds Played

With more than half of U.S. golf courses shut down for most of April, national rounds played were down 42% during the month compared to a year ago. Through the first four months, play is down 15.6% from the same point in 2019.

2 min read

98% of U.S. Golf Courses Are Open

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.

2 min read

Protecting Golfers and Course Staff Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

For facilities allowing play amid the coronavirus crisis, the following is a rundown of efforts to provide a safe environment for customers and employees.

4 min read

Breaking News on Golf and the Coronavirus

A repository of coronavirus-related breaking golf news from states and communities around the country.

13 min read

98% of U.S. golf courses were open for play heading into June, up from 44% in early April.

Based on surveys of 387 golf facilities conducted the week of May 25-May 31, accurate to +/- 1%.

0 unique facility verifications to date.

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.

2 1/2-Month Trend in Course Openings


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Studying Golf Consumers: COVID-19

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. 

2 min read

Golfers and Social Distancing

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.

< 1 min read

Breaking Down Barriers to Golf Participation

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.

5 min read

Golf Courses

Tracking Government Orders and Golf Course Status

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.

< 1 min read

Short and Sweet: Par 3 Golf Courses

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.

4 min read

The Logistics of Lighting a Golf Course

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.

4 min read

General Interest

The Story Behind ‘The Photo’

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.

4 min read

Is CBD Gaining a Foothold in Golf Retail?

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?

5 min read

The Passion of PGA Show Entrepreneurs

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.

5 min read

NGF News & Reports

2020 Golf Industry Report Available to Members

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.

2 min read

2020 Rounds Played Report Is Available

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.

< 1 min read

The NGF’s Top 100 Businesses in Golf — New For 2020

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.

5 min read