Here’s three golf industry trends that have resulted from coronavirus

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 1, 2020 11:06

The Golf Business looks at three UK golf industry trends – beyond simply a general rise in participation and membership – that have materialised as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic:

There has been huge demand for shorter versions of golf

There has been a growth in demand for all versions of golf in the last few months, and a desire to play par three, or six or nine hole courses, has been evident since long before the pandemic started.

However, shorter versions of golf experienced an unprecedented surge this summer.

According to data from Ireland, more than 2,000 people joined a pitch and putt golf club between May and September, with some of the clubs saying their membership rose by more than 200 percent during that period.

Staycation golf boomed this summer

According to one golf holiday company, holiday bookings at UK golf resorts more than doubled from early June to early September 2020, compared with 2019.

While fewer foreigners visited the UK to play golf, and this has had a devastating effect on venues that rely on their income, a large number of Brits who would normally visit, typically southern Europe to play golf, instead chose UK venues this summer, resulting in a 119 percent increase in bookings.

Younger people are playing golf again

The ageing profile of the average golf club member has been a concern for the industry for years. But with golf being an activity that can be carried out in a socially distanced way, the turnaround this summer has been remarkable.

According to one study, the age category most likely to pay-and-play at a golf club this June was people aged 24 to 34, when previously it was 65-plus.

The 18 to 24 age range made up 15 percent of all green fee purchases in June – an age range that had “not even registered historically”.

As Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, said: “This could be a real opportunity for the game.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 1, 2020 11:06
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1 Comment

  1. Peter October 2, 11:43

    Three, six and nine hole feeder courses are what’s needed to bring more to the game, long term! Surprising more developers haven’t embraced this new model !

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