According to the National Golf Foundation: The number of kids ages 6-17 who teed it up on a golf course in April, May, and June is up considerably in comparison to 2018 & 2019. By years end we could see a 500,000 junior golfers increase over previous years.
This year has been nothing short of an anomaly. From the Australian wildfires to COVID-19 and everything in between. It is no surprise that the hospitality industry has taken a hard hit. Sports is a huge part of the hospitality industry, especially golf. There should be an abundance of sporting events and activities in this primetime of summer. The All-Star game should be taking place, the Olympics should be right around the corner, and we should be looking forward to one of our favorite golfers vying for the coveted claret jug. Instead we find ourselves in flux. This in between, this new norm. Amongst all this chaos and uncertainty, there are some positives that we can all look towards.
One of the major bright spots is that of the golf industry. According to the National Golf Foundation “the May rounds report was up more than 6% nationwide” & golf courses are looking at stacked tee sheets from sun up to sun down. That 6% increase translates to about $120 million in course revenues (NGF). In other words, there is a large influx of new golfers interested in the game. The perfect storm of home confinement, the desire to learn a new sport, and the craving to be outside has spawned a demand for golf not seen since the early 2000’s.
This could be a major blessing in disguise for the golf industry. The continuous goal of the PGA and professionals across the world is to grow the game and increase the number of new golfers. Golf facilities are seeing an increase in demand from new & latent golfers. This has the potential to translate to a dramatic increase in the golfing population. The focus of professionals now needs to shift. We as professionals need to look at new ways to keep these golfers intrigued and interested in the game that means so much to so many.
This is where the non-traditional golf activities come in to play. Golf simulators and technologically advanced driving ranges such as TopGolf are positioned to introduce a version of golf that is much less intimidating and more inviting than jumping on green grass immediately. As professionals we can take this initial spike in interest and mold it into a larger demographic of lifelong golfers. Gamifying golf has helped it evolve from not just a game played with relatives, but rather one that is fun for entire family. With the state-of-the-art technology offered in GOLFZON sims, we can create a fun and enjoyable experience for all ages and skill levels. As the world is evolving, the golf industry needs to follow. Let’s work towards finding new ways to leverage this pandemic and make it a positive outcome for all those involved.
I feel that it is important to look at the positives anywhere we can find them during this pandemic. Whether it be the increased time with family, or cherishing down time when we were able to reset and prioritize. It is easy to get bogged down in the negativity and lose track of what is truly important. Stay the course, keep focused and believe in the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We all can get through this, but only with a collective effort. Not only in the golf industry, but also in society. Let’s never stop progressing. Put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.