NGF Report on the Current State of the Industry
- As of the end of last week, 44% of the nation's golf courses were still allowing play, down slightly from the previous week but within the margin of error of our poll of U.S. golf facilities. The vast majority of open courses are taking appropriate safety measures on behalf of their staff and golfers. We have found that courses that have suspended golf operations tend to be concentrated in urban areas – not unlike the virus itself.
- Looking at golf retail, all national stores remain closed to foot traffic while approximately 20% of independent and regional retailers (doors) are open, down from 35% last week. From an overall square footage perspective, only 4% of total off-course golf specialty space is now open to in-store traffic, down from 8% in the previous polling.
- So far we're seeing clear indication that golf consumers -- although on average more financially secure than the broader U.S. population -- are neither insensitive nor immune to the current or potential financial impacts of the coronavirus, which has led some to postpone or even abandon planned purchases and other spending (golf or otherwise).
- But we're also seeing signs that latent demand for playing golf is building despite varying levels of financial or personal anxiety. We have included a "Golf Itch" meter as part of our update.
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