Much to the dismay of golfers in colder regions, the country’s most famous groundhog saw his shadow earlier this month, portending six more weeks of winter.
And, at least according to the official definition of the season, winter in the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t end until March 20.
Perhaps not surprisingly, winter is a popular time for getaways, whether it’s to escape cold weather, visit family or travel for the holidays. Almost half of U.S. households (47%) took or plan to take a vacation this winter, according to a recent National Golf Foundation survey. Respondents were asked whether they took (or were planning) a trip more than 50 miles from home that includes an overnight stay.
Of those taking a winter trip, 54% said they would be traveling to a warm weather destination and 25% said they, or someone in their party, had golf on the agenda.
Among those surveyed who categorized themselves as a golfer and went on vacation, 45% said golf was (or would be) a part of their winter trip. Sixty-three percent of those are males, slightly less than the national overall percentage of golfers who are male.
The highest percentage of winter golf travelers came from the Southern region (44%). The findings stand to reason as those in the south often face less travel time and costs to reach a winter golf destination — the places unaffected by a groundhog that sees its shadow.
The NGF is widely regarded as the foremost authority in the golf business for data, research and consulting. The foundation serves members across every sector in the golf industry, with an expertise that includes market intelligence in golf participation, consumer behavior, course operations, facility development, travel, retail, consumer confidence and more.