Golf has been well-positioned throughout the pandemic as a healthy and safe outdoor activity, and because of this unique advantage there’s been a lot of curiosity of late about the effects on rounds and participation overall. NGF has received and shared a number of anecdotal reports suggesting a mini surge in engagement, from full tee sheets and lapsed golfers making their return to more families and new faces out on the golf course.
The data below, provided by NGF’s friends at Sagacity Golf, gives a deeper, data-driven look at engagement in several key golf markets, comparing 2020 weekly rounds volume to the same period over the previous three years.
While it’s noteworthy that the increase in play is most pronounced in states that had restrictions on golf operations — a clear sign of pent-up demand — even in non-shutdown markets like Orlando and Phoenix there were still significant ‘before and after’ effects.
That said, not all areas have seen surges in the coronavirus era. Palm Springs is among the golf destination markets that have seen a dip in rounds volume even as courses have been permitted to reopen.
The question for the industry going forward is whether this momentum can be sustained as more activities and businesses “return to normal.”
Will there be a renewed appreciation for the outdoor escape and the inherent social distancing that golf provides, or will the return of family pursuits like youth sports bite into the surge in participation in the months ahead?
(Cover image courtesy of Kohler Golf)
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.