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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

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

2020 Golf Industry Report Available to Members
Participation and Course Supply Data Highlight Annual State-of-Industry Overview

by National Golf Foundation

April 2020

While the current state of the industry is understandably on the forefront of the minds of everyone who works in and around golf, the 2020 Golf Industry Report is now available to NGF members.

The annual report provides a high-level overview of the business of golf and the health of the game in 2019 and, hopefully, a valuable point of reference for golf’s recovery that is sure to follow.

MEMBERS CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

The 2020 Golf Industry Report was completed before the ongoing crisis and does not include data that relates to the current environment. For NGF’s latest information on the human and business impacts of the coronavirus, please visit our special webpage dedicated to COVID-19 research.



Evolution and stabilization continue to be the pervading macro trends throughout the golf industry, particularly when it comes to the on-going balancing of supply and demand.

Recreational golf, like many activities that vie for free time and discretionary spending, faces persistent headwinds of a societal, financial and environmental nature. As the nation’s No. 1 pay-to-play, outdoor participation sport, golf’s financial health will forever be intertwined with a number of forces outside its control, among them the economy and the weather.

While the industry remains highly competitive for golf related businesses, there’s reason for optimism given the game’s robust popularity and its pool of interested prospects that’s deeper than ever. A stabilization in traditional, green-grass participation, new forms of engagement, the growth of youth development programs, positive economic indicators, and significant on-going investment in existing facilities more accurately reflect the big-picture story in golf.

The number of on-course golfers in the U.S. is down from its peak, but traditional participation has been very stable in recent years—with a new support level of about 24 million golfers for six years running. Although some golfers come and go every year, the number of dedicated golfers account for more than 90% of rounds-played and spending, continues to hold steady at approximately 20 million.

 

Meanwhile, the number of off-course participants continues to increase, most notably at the growing number of golf-entertainment venues—which offer engaging, non-intimidating ways to hit golf balls with golf clubs—as well as at indoor simulators and driving ranges.

As a result, overall golf participation, when factoring both on- and off-course play, now stands at 34.2 million—an increase of 6.4% in just the past two years.

Other highlights from the Golf Industry Report:

  • There were 441 million rounds of golf played in 2019
  • Golfers played an average of 18.2 rounds
  • With 16,383 golf courses, the U.S. is by far the best-supplied market in the world
  • The average price paid for an 18-hole round at a public golf facility was $36
  • 75% of U.S. golf facilities are open to all players
  • Golf had an overall reach of more than 108 million
  • The number of newcomers is close to an all-time high, as is latent demand
  • Juniors (6-17) and young adults (18-34) comprise about 35% of all on-course golfers
  • The 65-and-over segment has added more than 1 million golfers the past two years

 

The 2020 Golf Industry Report also includes the latest NGF data on golfer segments and engagement, rounds played, golf course supply and development, retail supply, and golf equipment sales.

MEMBERS, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY 


 

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National Golf Foundation

The National Golf Foundation is a community of individuals and golf businesses committed to being the most well-informed advocates for the growth of the industry. With the world’s largest research team dedicated to golf, NGF provides members with the most accurate and objective insights on the game. We help golf businesses better understand their market and grow their businesses. The NGF is the only association for everyone in golf, and we advocate for growth by educating and connecting our members.

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About NGF Membership

The National Golf Foundation is a community of individuals and golf businesses committed to being the most well-informed advocates for the growth of the industry.

With the world’s largest research team dedicated to golf, NGF provides members with the most accurate and objective insights on the game. We help golf businesses better understand their market and grow their businesses. The NGF is the only association for everyone in golf, and we advocate for growth by educating and connecting our members.

Thousands of members throughout the golf community continue to support NGF initiatives and have privileged access to a catalog of NGF research reports, including the Golf Industry Report, as well as more in-depth individual studies on golf participation and facilities.

Readers who enjoy and benefit from the NGF’s unique research, data and perspective are encouraged to consider a variety of membership options and levels starting at $250 annually for a golf facility and $550 a year for a golf business.

If interested, please contact Sandi at swilliams@ngf.org or 561-354-1632.