Golf industry confidence for 2021 is high

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 7, 2020 16:21

A poll of more than 300 golf club managers and owners around the world has found there is significant optimism for the industry in 2021.

The Golf Operation Impact survey conducted by GolfNow finds two-thirds of respondents are ‘very optimistic’ that golf will be able to capitalise on the surge of interest and newcomers to the game. Just over half believe that the pandemic is a new ‘silver lining’ for the game of golf, and 46 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that the new interest in golf will be ‘short-lived’.

More than 81 percent of facilities reported that the number of rounds at their facility is up on 2019, and more than a third stated that their revenue during the summer was up by more than 25 percent year-on-year.

The bulk of the summer revenue growth came from green fees (up by 77 percent), but even indoor streams such as the pro shop (36 percent), lessons (26 percent) and the bar and restaurant (22 percent) saw significant growth, even though 69 percent on respondents said their food and beverage operations were reduced this summer.

Almost half (47 percent) now believe technology is a priority, up from 27 percent pre-pandemic.

Some facilities went to prepaid tee times to promote ‘contactless’ check-ins, with 31 percent saying it will become a standardised feature moving forward.

Unsurprisingly, the survey isn’t all good news. Nearly three quarters of respondents that host wedding or events said bookings virtually vanished, and incoming golf societies was down by 86 percent. The venues less optimistic about 2021 are resorts that rely on traveling golfers staying in hotels, with 31 percent of them saying they are not at all optimistic.

“We remain positive for the future and we have learned a lot in 2020,” reads a comment from one survey participant. “The golf industry will have a great year in 2021. I am convinced with the generation of 25 to 35 year-olds who have just discovered golf. Our industry will do well.”

Another wrote that the club’s bar wasn’t open in the summer but beer sales were still up by 20 percent for the year. “Partly due to more players, but mostly due to making it easy for people to grab it before they start and at the turn.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 7, 2020 16:21
Write a comment


  1. Mcdaniel December 9, 20:03

    Golf business optimistic about 2021. Things in Sweden are about the same as in Great Britain.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Peter December 8, 17:42

    There should be !! There is lot’s to be excited about with vaccines around the corner !! However, while it’s great to be optimistic, we also have to be rooted in reality !! Otherwise our planning efforts will likely be short-changed and decisions unwise !! Optimism always needs to be sprinkled with moderation… especially today with so many unknowns !!

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment


Join Our Mailing List

Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

For editorial enquiries in the magazine or online, contact:

For advertising enquiries in the magazine or online, contact: