Golf is almost back in full swing in the United States, according to the latest survey data from the National Golf Foundation, with 98% of all golf courses in the US now open for play, up from a figure of just 44% in April.
With pent up demand building over the last few months as state and local governments instigated various forms of lockdowns and closures during the COVID-19 pandemic spread, 86% of core golfers – defined as adults having played a minimum of eight rounds in the past 12 months – reported teeing it up in the past few weeks as restrictions have been eased.
The NGF has also reported a significant spike in people taking up the game for the first time, while the survey 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 that 84% of off-course retailers are now open. This is up from 61% three weeks ago. In early April, 96% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf retail space had been shut to in-store 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, such as Topgolf, are additionally making a comeback, with 28% opening their doors for business as of June 1.