Some Good News
It looks like the itch to golf is strong this Spring. That is a good sign for the future of our industry. You need to take advantage of these new golfers and make them repeat customers. See the NGF article below.
Golfers are definitely scratching their itch to play. In a survey completed over this past weekend, 86% of core golfers reported that they've teed it up in the past couple of weeks. I can't say if that's high, because it's not how we've traditionally collected this data, but it seems an encouraging sign. Going along with this, our monthly national study of golf participation is showing a spike in the proportion of golfers who are beginners, which supports what we're hearing from operators.
Increased interest in golf is also evident in Google search results. Golf's search popularity in the month of May reached a new peak level compared to the previous four years. (Just so you know, we exclude searches related to the Volkswagen Golf automobile.)
On the supply side, we found 98% of courses open for play, barely up from a week ago, but like a golf handicap, the closer you get to scratch, the tougher it is to make progress. We also found that 85% of off-course retailers and 75% of on-course shops are now welcoming golfers through their doors. This increase in availability may have something to do with the modest rise in golfer-reported visits to off-course golf retail, with 16% now saying that they've been recently (up from 12% a week ago). Golf entertainment venues are also coming back, with 28% open for business as of June 1.