Global Edition

SMS report reveals impact of pandemic on golf in Asia

12.07pm 15th October 2021 - Management Topics

Sports Marketing Survey has released details of a research project that it has conducted on golf participation in Asia and its potential for future growth.

The pioneering study, the results of which are able to be downloaded in a 46-page report, depict an industry and a region ‘prime for investment in the short, medium and long term’.

The results comprise over 10,000 responses from golfers nine territories, including India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Almost half the responses came from golfers in Korea, while a quarter were received from Japanese golfers.

In broad terms, the report notes that more golfers in Asia plan to increase their expenditure on golf over the next year than expect to spend less. In the Philippines, Singapore and Korea, almost half of golfers plan to spend more than usual on golf in the next 6-12 months. This increased spend will boost several sectors of the golf industry, with golfers expecting to spend more on green fees, equipment, holidays and apparel over the next 12 months.

The report also highlighted that the market for home training products is on the rise in some Asian countries, with 20% of respondents saying that they play/practise golf at home more now than they did before the pandemic. Golfers from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand are most likely to be working on their golf games at home.

The optimism around both playing and spending reflects the relative safety of golf during the pandemic, which overall feels safer than any other activity tested in the study. It also highlights the mental and social wellbeing that golf provides, with 74% of respondents giving scores between 8 and 10 out of 10 when asked how much they missed golf during lockdowns, including 42% of golfers who said that they missed golf like ‘crazy’ (10/10). The benefits of fresh air, socialising on the course and ‘simply playing’ were common refrains.

Reflecting on the headline findings, Eric Lynge, Special Advisor for Asia at Sports Marketing Surveys, commented: “These results should inspire confidence across the industry. Whether you are already involved in Asian golf or thinking about investing in the coming years, it’s important to understand how golf is transforming both in response to covid and through other underlying trends.

“The topline report is an important first step in helping businesses navigate the changing landscape. We also look forward to releasing a wealth of additional insights for businesses and federations to sink their teeth into over the coming months.”

To access many more insights on areas including golf during and after COVID-19, golf media, spend, attitudes to competitions, clubhouses and fellow golfers, download the report here.

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