As I considered this last industry message of 2020, I realized I really just wanted to say “Thank You” to everyone in and around golf who helped turn a terrible situation at the start of this year into something positive for golf.
Thanks to the golfers who came out in record-setting fashion – whether they were seeking to get outside, get exercise, get together with family … or all of the above. Thanks to the newcomers, to the returners, and to our most dedicated and passionate participants who seized the opportunity to play far more frequently.
Thanks to the tireless employees at the more than 14,000 golf facilities around the country who handled unforeseen challenges, from interacting with customers and booking rounds in new ways to juggling safety and staffing issues. And to the operators at those facilities who share rounds-played data with us every month, helping us keep our finger on the pulse of play.
Thanks to the superintendents and their dedicated crews. Heavier play meant more divots, more pitch marks, more golf cars and the turf compaction issues that come with them. They’ve been busting their butts to keep up, so kudos to these hard-working men and women.
Thanks to the golf retailers and manufacturers, who overcame early-season calamity to meet the surge in consumer demand that followed.
Thanks to our hometown courses. Destination golf is special, but golf is primarily local and that’s why the game was able to provide safe haven this year.
And a very sincere and special thanks to the members of our passionate and committed NGF community who make our research possible, and to our readers, who let us know what we do here at NGF is relevant and important.
No doubt there’s still some tough sledding ahead. But we’re looking forward to ushering in a new year, a rebounding economy, the eventual death of the virus, and a return to normalcy for you and your families.
Joe is in his 35th year with the NGF and has served as President and Chief Executive since 1989. One of the industry's leading experts on the business of golf, Joe has published a myriad of studies and reports about the state of the game and, as a speaker, is frequently asked to provide insight and information on consumer and economic trends affecting golf's present and future.