Global Edition

Golfers return to pro shops as lockdown eases in US

9.13am 29th May 2020 - Coronavirus News

As the percentage of pro shops and off-course golf retail stores re-opening up to foot traffic continues to increase across the USA, the number of golfers indicating their concern for visiting physical stores is subsiding, according to the latest industry-wide surveys from the National Golf Foundation (NGF).

Approximately 80% of off-course golf retail stores are open to customers, up from 61% two weeks ago. All but 4% of the 6.5 million square feet of total off-course golf retail space had been closed to in-store traffic in early April, even as more than 40% of courses remained open for play.

The percentage of pro shops that are open in the United States remains at 66%, a by-product of at least 10 states having government mandates in place that prevent facilities from allowing customers into pro shops and clubhouses. This group includes New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois, which have more than 3,400 golf courses between them.

Meanwhile, only 8% of core golfers indicate they’re ‘very concerned’ about shopping in golf retail stores or pro shops, with 60% now saying they’re not concerned about entering physical golf retail locations. This is the first notable change over the past month of consumer surveys and up from 52% a week ago.

Core golfers also indicate their personal financial outlooks continue to improve, even if they’re not currently spending as they normally would.

The percentage of US golf courses open for play has risen to 97% after a seventh straight week of increases in the number of course re-openings.

“The good news, mostly anecdotal, is that there seems to be a surge in participation among beginning golfers and those who haven’t played in a while,” said NGF President and CEO Joe Beditz. “Course operators are telling us they are seeing lots of new faces, and retailers are saying they are moving an unusually large number of boxed beginner sets of clubs.”

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