Strong start for member and visitor golf in 2022

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 6, 2022 09:27

Golf’s leading provider of tee time management technology, BRS Golf, and the world’s biggest tee time marketplace, GolfNow, have reported a strong start to the year for member and visitor play in the UK and Ireland.

Together BRS Golf and GolfNow provide tee time booking solutions to 1,500 golf clubs across England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, making the tech giant one of the largest sources of participation data in the British Isles.

In the first quarter of 2022, BRS Golf facilitated 5.2 million member rounds – a 110 percent increase in member play compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2020. All countries, with the exception of Scotland, restricted member and visitor play for most of Q1 2021, making a year-on-year comparison impossible.

Rounds booked by country Q1 2022:

  • 2.6 million in England
  • 1.2 million in Ireland
  • 350,000 in Northern Ireland
  • 810,000 in Scotland
  • 270,000 in Wales

This strong start to the year for member rounds bodes well for the rest of 2022 and shows that golf is still feeling the effects of the pandemic boom. In 2021 BRS Golf facilitated 22.9 million member rounds, a three percent year-on-year increase. However, compared to 2019, it is a 70 percent increase in member rounds.

Another indication of the enduring boom in golf is that the shift in member demographics we saw in 2020 and 2021 has remained static in 2022. Female golfers now make up nearly 30 percent of member golfers across BRS Golf’s club partners, with 70,000 women taking up club memberships over the last three years.

  • Female members increase from 140,000 to 210,000 from 2018 to 2022

The second major shift has been in the number of younger members now using BRS Golf platforms. Historically the 18-34 age range for golf clubs was one that contributed a relatively small percentage of overall members. Back in 2018, the 18-34 age range contributed 19.7 percent of BRS Golf’s user base. This age range has now jumped to 29.2 percent of the user base, and is the both the largest and fastest growing member sector.

Likewise on the GolfNow platform, users aged 18-34 have increased from making up 28.5 percent of users in Q1 2020 to 36 percent of users in Q1 2022.

Q1 this year has been another record-breaking quarter for GolfNow. Almost £1.7 million in visitor green fee revenue was generated for course partners through the platform from the start January to the end of March. This is 112 percent up on Q1 2020 and 24 percent up on the same period in 2019.

  • 1,237 courses sold course rounds on GolfNow in Q1 2022
  • The average price of a course round increased 25 percent vs 2019
  • Average basket value in Q1 increased 24 percent vs 2019 and now stands at £52.76

Looking back to 2019, and the breakdown of GolfNow visitor bookings by day of the week, historically GolfNow would have had 53 percent of its bookings on weekdays – Monday to Friday. Comparing this with the period from May 2020, when golf came out of lockdown, through to the end of 2021, GolfNow has seen a large shift in weekday play to 63 percent of all bookings. As life has increasingly returned to normality in Q1 and people move to an office or hybrid work environment, GolfNow has seen weekday play drop back to 2019 levels with 51 percent of bookings year to date coming Monday to Friday.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 6, 2022 09:27
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