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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

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

NGF’s Golf by Region
The Northeast Spot That Ranks 5th Nationwide in Golf Course Supply per Capita

by Erik Matuszewski

March 2018

The Barnstable Metro area, aka Cape Cod, is one of the nation’s most golf-rich regions.

With 702 holes of golf spread across 39 facilities, the Barnstable Town metro area in Massachusetts is one of the most golf-rich regions in the entire country.

Never heard of the Barnstable Town metro area? You wouldn’t be alone. Most know it better as Cape Cod.

A popular getaway for those in the nearby Boston area, Cape Cod has the fifth-highest per capita supply of golf courses, with just 5,470 golfers per 18 holes, according to the NGF’s facility database. Jutting into the Atlantic Ocean above Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, the region is home to 39 golf facilities, including properties such as Eastward Ho! in Chatham, Cape Cod National in Brewster and the Hyannisport Club in Hyannisport. Comparable to markets like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Naples, Florida, Cape Cod operators are reliant on demand from visiting and seasonal golfers.

In 1924, the architect of Eastward Ho!, Herbert Fowler, wrote an article for Golf Illustrated in which he raved about the suitability of the area for golf.

“There is probably no place in the world where so many opportunities offer themselves for the making of the best type of golf courses as on Cape Cod,” Fowler wrote. “The natural soil, the contours of the ground, the climate, everything combines to make it a golfer’s paradise. In fact, one may truly say that the Cape closely resembles the land on which many of the historic links of Great Britain have been made.”

The NGF estimates there are more than 19,000 golfing households in the Barnstable Town metro area and approximately 27,000 golfers, with the potential to demand as many as 1.13 million rounds annually.

There are a total of 27 18-hole courses, seven 9-hole layouts, three 27-hole courses and two 36-hole properties. Given Cape Cod’s popularity as a vacation destination, there are also approximately 10,000 seasonal golfing households, according to the NGF’s GolfMAP, which provides essential market demographic information as well as proprietary golf supply & demand metrics. The market’s golf participation rate is 19.5%, almost 6 percent higher than the national average.

The information above scratches the surface in the NGF’s comprehensive market reports, which can be broken down by specific regions or based on a set distance within a particular club or business.

Whether it’s an individual golf course looking for market data on golfers (customers), a management company doing due diligence before venturing into a new region, or business owners, marketers or retail stores looking to connect with consumers, the NGF has a wealth of information and research that’s geared to help businesses succeed.

The Captains Golf Course is a 36-hole municipal facility in Brewster, home to a pair of 18-hole layouts — Port and Starboard.

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Erik Matuszewski

Erik is the Editorial Director for the NGF. Before joining the National Golf Foundation, he spent more than two decades with Bloomberg News, both as a writer and editor, with a focus on sports business and the golf industry. The New Jersey resident has also written about golf for outlets that include Forbes, LINKS and the Met Golfer.