Golf Rounds Increase by 39 Million Nationwide This Year

Despite the coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage the country, the game of golf has endured.

According to the National Golf Foundation (NGF), roughly 39 million more rounds were played this year over last year during the months of June, July, August and September.

“Indications are that October rounds numbers will be strong as well, as the industry seeks to further extend the record-setting summer momentum into the fall,” writes NGF.

This comes after the industry lost approximately 20 million rounds were lost early in the season due to clubs being closed due to the virus.

One State Sees Rounds Drop

PHOTO: Chris Urbanowicz/Flickr

Only one state in the country has seen rounds drop this season.

Surprisingly, at least somewhat, that state is Hawaii.

“While rounds-played numbers have been up significantly across the U.S. since the bulk of courses reopened in May, Hawaii has seen continued year-over-year declines: -50.2% in May, -42.6% in June, -38.2% in July and -30.5% in August. Most recently in September, rounds were down 40.6% YOY at Hawaii’s 74 golf facilities, almost one-third of which are affiliated with a resort property of some kind,” writes NGF.

“It’s frustrating to be in the visitor industry, which much of this whole state depends on, and for us to have these beautiful courses that for the most part kind of empty,” said Josh Silliman, Director of Golf for the Mauna Kea Resort’s two Big Island courses. “We should be pumping tourism play through here and let everyone have some fun and experience in golf, which is one of the safest things you can do. You’ve seen that across the U.S. But here it’s so far down because the tourists aren’t coming.”

However, once tourism returns to the state, that should change.

NGF reports that, “The Hawaii Island Visitors Bureau is looking to target golfers, recognizing the particular value and affluence of this traveler segment as it seeks to rebuild the state’s tourism. Troon is being aggressive in the promotion of stay and play packages, among them a ‘Best of Hawaii’ vacation that features stops and rounds of golf on three different islands.”

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