Survey: Golf is Back! 86% of core golfers have recently played a round

National Golf Foundation

The encouraging data comes from the latest National Golf Foundation survey

According to data from the latest National Golf Foundation (NGF) weekly survey ending May 30 on the current health of the U.S. golf industry, 98% of all U.S. golf courses are now open for play to start the month of June as summer nears. In early April, the numbers of facilities accepting golfers was 44%.

With pent up demand for playing the ancient game building over the last few months as state and local governments issued various forms of lockdowns and closures during the COVID-19 pandemic spread, 86% of core golfers – defined as U.S. adults having played a minimum of eight rounds of golf in the past 12 months – reported teeing it up in the past few weeks as restrictions and fears have dissipated somewhat.

The NGF also reports a significant spike in beginner golfers opting to give the game a go. Equally intriguing for the game’s growth, the study also found interest in golf rising via Google search data as the month of May found golf’s online popularity increasing to a peak level when compared to the previous four years.

The recent industry surge reported by the NGF also discovered 84% of off-course retailers are now open. This is an uptick from 81% last week and a significant leap from 61% three weeks ago. In early April, 96% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf specialty space had been shut to in-store consumer traffic.

The survey also found independent and regional retailers are opening at a slightly higher rate (86%) than the national stores (84%) such as Golf Galaxy, Worldwide Golf Shops and PGA Tour Superstore. Golf entertainment venues are additionally making a comeback with 28% opening their doors for business as of June 1.
Overall, the numbers tell the story that golf is coming back in a big way.

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About the Author
David Wood is an author, world traveler and former stand-up comedian with several David Letterman Show appearances under his belt. A few years back, he took a one-year sabbatical to travel to exotic golf locales around the globe. He turned the adventure into the critically acclaimed book Around the World in 80 Rounds.” His new golf video blog “Have Clubs Will Travel” is featured on The Morning Read. He resides in New York City.