The future of golf is something that many experts worry about. With the time and money it takes to play the game, quite a bit must fall into place for a golfer to get a round in. Golf is also difficult, which can be a bit discouraging. However, changes have been made in the last few years that have helped to make the future of golf quite a bit brighter. These changes and progressions are great for those that love the game, but they are essential for the economy. The economic impact of golf is something that should not be overlooked.
How Big Is The Golf Business?
The golf business may be a bit bigger than you realize. In 2018 it was estimated that golf sales reached 13.4 billion worldwide. Of course, the industry is stronger in some areas of the world than in others. The game has always been thought of as a rich man’s sport, but that is changing.
Golf courses are trying to keep their doors open, and to do this; they need to offer deals and appeal to players of all income levels. The game of golf seems to be growing again, and this is something that will undoubtedly have an impact on the economy.
Never did we see this more than in the time of Corona.
The Impact of Corona On The Golf Industry
Golf rounds are tracked so that the experts can make predictions and goals for the game’s future. This past summer, in the months of June, July, and August, the number of rounds of golf played increased almost 30 million over the previous year.
Thirty million rounds of golf bring quite a few dollars to the economy. People realize that golf is safe in this new world we are living in. Golf allows you to socially distance yet still be outside and exercising.
There were so many events and activities canceled that people were looking for anything they could that allowed them to keep busy and enjoy themselves outdoors. People who never really enjoyed golf started to realize its benefits. Golf push carts and beginner golf sets were sold out everywhere.
This boost was precisely what the game needed, and now we just need it to continue. What can golf courses and golf professionals do to keep this love of golf growing for years to come.
Golf Communities and Developments
Golf communities have been around for many years. These golf communities were built for retired people who needed something to do with their free time. However, these communities are changing and becoming more and more inclusive of families and junior golfers.
People need to pick up golf as a young person to transition into golf as a retired person. These communities that are starting to open their doors to golfers of all ages are looking for lifelong members.
They want to introduce players with a junior membership to afford their golf while their kids are young and their career is new. As time goes on, the dues increase, and more and more money is put into the economy from these golfers.
Golf communities and developments becoming more inclusive and more open to play from golfers of all ages, income levels, and abilities have helped increase the game’s appeal.
If you have always felt uncomfortable at a private country club, there are some younger modern ones that are worth checking out. Things are changing in the golf world to make this a family-friendly and all inclusive sport.
Golf equipment is where we see the largest impact on the economy. The golf equipment business is booming right now, thanks to Covid. Golfers spend quite a bit of money on their equipment each year. Between greens fees, golf balls, and equipment, the average golfer spends around $2500 to $3000 per year.
Let’s think about a golfer who is a member of a club with dues of $12,000, a few guests coming out to play, a new set of irons, a pair of golf shoes, and of course, golf balls. The total bill for a player like this could be closer to $15,000-$20,000 per year. Certainly, this is a significant level of spending for one hobby.
Golf manufacturers know how to feed into this love for new equipment. Every year companies like TaylorMade, Callaway, and Cleveland will release new clubs. These clubs may not have all that much different from the previous version, yet they are marketed to be the latest and greatest.
Golfers that have the golf bug have no problem spending $500 on a brand new driver. Not only do players want to be the first to have the club, but they also truly believe it will change their golf game.
The golf equipment industry had a great year in 2020. Those that have not played for the last ten years realized that they needed to update their equipment to head out on the course. With Corona making it difficult for other activities to be played or traveling to be done, people had more money to invest in their golf games.
If things stay the way they are when it comes to social distancing, 2021 will end up being an excellent year for the golf industry, yet again.
Future of Golf Industry
There are certain stigmas that golf has been trying to overcome for many years. The two biggest issues are that golf is a rich man’s game that takes too long. With these thoughts in many people’s minds, the golf industry’s future has been in jeopardy quite a few times.
If young people don’t play the game, there is no next generation.
Golf courses have started to offer players the option to play six holes instead of nine. They have brought tees forward and encouraged golfers to play the course from shorter distances. If you have never broken 100, maybe you are playing the golf course from too far away?
As long as the handicap system is in place, golfers should not be trying to play from the pro tees with a 30 handicap.
These changes are helping to make the game more accessible, and frankly, more fun. Golf played at a competitive level is hard. It’s fine to keep golf at this level challenging and for the best of players. When the golfers that are not all that good start to love the game, this is where we see the deep economic impacts.
Golfers have no trouble reaching into their pockets. The trouble the game has always had is getting enough people to play. This past summer, when it was nearly impossible even to get a tee time on a golf course, it gave us a bit of hope for those courses that were on the brink of shutting down.
The Corona Virus has done some terrible things to the world we live in and the people we love. However, when it comes to the golf industry and the economic impact, the Corona Virus has been positive. The 2021 year is lining up to be another big one for golf.
We tend to believe this impact will last for many years and be quite far-reaching. Without a doubt, golf is back, and it’s better than ever.