Survey: Golf-course openings could surge over next two weeks

A crowded golf course
Coming soon: more busy golf courses?
Golf File

The National Golf Foundation (NGF) is constantly monitoring and polling of the golf industry during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and its latest data shows positive news for golf: anticipated growth in golf-course supply in the coming weeks.

In new data gathered from its weekly poll ending April 19, the NGF projects as many as 57% of all courses in the U.S. will be open in the near term, assuming no further state shutdowns are announced. Currently, the number of U.S. courses open for play held steady from the week prior at roughly 47% (see also the chart below from Golf Now).

The potential growth reflects a few states easing restrictions on play as well as warmer “golf weather” seeping across the northern tier of the country. In this most recent poll, the NGF examined golf facilities above the 45th parallel, which comprises approximately one-fifth of the mainland U.S. landmass and 8% of course supply.

The biggest increase came in the Midwest region, although the polling data didn’t include late news that Minnesota golf courses were permitted to open as of April 18. The number of openings should increase this week as Wisconsin just announced its courses would start allowing play as well.

The most noteworthy decline was in the Mid-Atlantic as most New York golf courses suspended operations in response to an updated executive order declaring golf a “non-essential business.” New York private clubs may allow “walking-only” access to members provided they adhere to strict social distancing guidelines.