Golf Participation Rises 6.4% Over Last 2 Years

Overall golf participation has risen 6.4% over the last two years, according to the 2020 Golf Industry Report released by the National Golf Foundation (NGF). 

According to NGF’s report, there are currently 34.2 million U.S. citizens participating in golf in one form or another, whether it is going to golf courses, driving ranges, or golf entertainment venues such as Top Golf. 

“A stabilization in traditional, green-grass participation, new forms of engagement, the growth of youth development programs, positive economic indicators, and significant on-going investment in existing facilities more accurately reflect the big-picture story in golf,” writes NGF. 

It is important to note that the report was compiled prior to the coronavirus pandemic and does not include data that represents the current environment. 

Chart courtesy of the National Golf Foundation

The 2020 Golf Industry Report 

According to NGF, the number of on-course golfers in the U.S. is down slightly at 24.3 million golfers. 

The number of on-course golfers has not dipped below 24 million at any point over the last six years. 

The number of dedicated golfers account for over 90% of rounds-played, while spending remains at approximately 20 million. 

Off-course participants rose to 23.3 million, according to the 2020 report. 

“Meanwhile, the number of off-course participants continues to increase, most notably at the growing number of golf-entertainment venues—which offer engaging, non-intimidating ways to hit golf balls with golf clubs—as well as at indoor simulators and driving range,” writes NGF. 

Other highlights from the Golf Industry Report:

  • There were 441 million rounds of golf played in 2019
  • Golfers played an average of 18.2 rounds
  • With 16,383 golf courses, the U.S. is by far the best-supplied market in the world
  • The average price paid for an 18-hole round at a public golf facility was $36
  • 75% of U.S. golf facilities are open to all players
  • Golf had an overall reach of more than 108 million
  • The number of newcomers is close to an all-time high, as is latent demand
  • Juniors (6-17) and young adults (18-34) comprise about 35% of all on-course golfers
  • The 65-and-over segment has added more than 1 million golfers the past two years

About the National Golf Foundation 

The National Golf Foundation is driven by its mission to foster the growth and vitality of the game and business of golf. 

The NGF is considered the most trusted and preeminent provider of market research, marketing databases, business insights and programs that support every segment of the industry.

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