The 6% year-over-year uptick in May play — about 2.4 million more rounds than in May of 2019 — has improved the industry’s long-term prospects of recovering from the approximately 20 million rounds lost to Covid-related shutdowns and anxiety in March and April.
If the rest of the year is flat in terms of the number of rounds played (i.e. no different than last year’s figures), we’d end up falling about 2.8% short of last year’s 441 million rounds — as noted in the graphic below. The signs for June, however, are encouraging ahead of the official rounds-played report, and continued strong turnout in summer would offset the spring losses.
The rebound in May is an encouraging sign, as nearly half of annual rounds are played from May through August. A continued surge through the summer (June, July and August) in line with May’s numbers would help the industry match last year’s rounds played total.
If the participation surge is even more significant and sustained, the year-end numbers might actually surpass the 2019 rounds totals, even with the widespread shutdowns in March and April.
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.