Golf industry statistics show promising growth in almost all market segments. It might not seem like an exciting game to a casual onlooker. However, it certainly has its fair share of enthusiasts.
There is reduced interest in miniature golf, though, and the global pandemic has impacted the preferred game formats. Take a look at the state of golf through the statistics we gathered for you below.
Key Golf Industry Trends and Stats in 2020 and 2021
- Rounds played have increased in the summer and fall.
- There were 883,500 total golfers in England in 2020.
- Global golf equipment statistics from 2020 predict growth in all market segments.
- The golf course industry was dominated by US companies in 2020.
- The golf apparel market is set to grow by 4% in 2020–2024.
- Recent mini-golf industry statistics reveal declining interest.
- Stats on the golf cart industry hold a positive outlook.
- In Canada, there are 180 golf equipment stores as of December 2020.
- Golf cart industry trends have turned to single-rider options.
- The US golf course and club market earned just over $25,000 million.
Worldwide Golf Industry Statistics From 2020
Golf has seen an increase in numbers all around the world. More people are playing, the game format is getting more diverse, and equipment sales keep growing. We rounded up some of the most representative golf industry statistics to get a picture of what 2020 was like for this sport.
1. Rounds played have increased in the summer and fall.
The shutdown caused by the pandemic cost the American golf industry 20 million rounds in the spring. However, it has recovered in the summer and autumn months. In June, rounds saw a 13.9% boost, and in July, they went up by 19.7% compared to the same period in 2019.
2. The numbers of golf course industry statistics were almost matched regarding on-course and off-course play.
In 2020, the number of Americans who golfed on- and off-course was almost the same. So, 24.3 million people played on proper golf courses, of which 10.9 million played on-course only.
On the other hand, 23.3 million participants engaged in off-course golfing. Of these, 9.9 million played exclusively off traditional golf courses.
Finally, there was some intersection between these two groups. More precisely, 13.4 million people said they participate in the game both on- and off-course.
3. The US golf course and club market earned just over $25,000 million.
The US golf industry statistics show that the country clubs & golf courses boasted quite the income. According to IBISWorld’s report from 2020, the market was worth $25,362.5 million that year, and it is expected to keep growing.
4. There were 883,500 total golfers in England in 2020.
In May 2020, there were 883,500 active adult golf players in England (“adult” applied to golfers aged 16 and over). In the report, “active” meant that they played at least twice in the last 28 days. Out of the 883,500 players, 655,839 are officially registered as of 2017.
The country’s golf industry demographics show that 84% of its registered golfers are adult men. 13% of England’s registered golf players are adult women, and 3% are registered as junior players (meaning younger than 16 years old).
5. In Canada, there are 180 golf equipment stores as of December 2020.
Canadian golf industry statistics show that the greatest number of stores selling golf equipment and supplies were located in Ontario — 78.
In second place was Quebec, with 36 establishments. Third place was shared by British Columbia and Alberta, with 23 golf supply stores each.
6. Global golf equipment industry statistics from 2020 predict growth in all market segments.
Projections for the global market for golf equipment propose a growth rate of CAGR 1.4% over the 2020–2027 period, expecting a total market value of $9.4 billion in 2027. Additionally, golf ball sales statistics predict a CAGR of 1.4% and $4.1 billion income by 2027.
The golf club market segment is expected to grow by 1.3% over the mentioned period. Meanwhile, golf shoe industry statistics place this class of equipment at the top of the growth list, with an expected CAGR of 1.8%.
7. The golf course industry was dominated by US companies in 2020.
Among golf course management companies worldwide, in the number of courses managed in 2020, three out of five top spots were occupied by American companies.
Troon Golf (Scottsdale, AZ) managed 278 golf courses. ClubCorp (Dallas, TX) managed 200. Third place went to Billy Casper Golf (Reston, VA), with 158 golf courses managed in 2020.
The fourth and fifth places were occupied by New Zealand and Japanese companies, respectively. Pacific Golf Management (Pauanui, NZ) operated 156 golf courses last year, while Accordia Golf Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, JP) managed 134.
General Golf Industry Trends in 2020
Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic was the single most influential factor in the golf world this previous year. Its impact was felt in several areas, including golf travel, golf transport, and time of play. Let’s take a look at those new trends in the golf industry.
8. Golf staycations skyrocketed in Britain.
(The Golf Business)
Due to the global pandemic, the UK vacation venues for golfers experienced dramatic losses in those areas that relied on foreign players. However, Brits themselves had many more in-country golf vacations.
Between June and September 2020, bookings for golfing staycations increased by 119% compared to the same period in 2019.
9. Golf cart industry trends have turned to single-rider options.
Social distancing rules dictated one rider per cart or no carts allowed on golf courses at all. So, demand rose for the kind of transport that would allow both comfort and the mandated distance.
The two most popular solutions were the GolfBoard and Finn Scooters. As of May 2020, approximately 3,000 GolfBoards were sold to 300 courses around America.
Finn Scooters were launched in 2019. By the end of that year, golf courses had leased around 300 of these vehicles.
10. The golf course industry started accommodating nighttime play.
There has been an increase in nighttime golf games, especially on the weekends. At facilities and venues that feature night golf offers, the rise in play was even more significant than the increase in daytime rounds.
The Lights at Indio, a golf course in Coachella Valley, CA, has seen their nighttime weekend golf games triple.
The popularity of night golf has also triggered the opening of new courses in other states. One example is the Timpanogos Pasture Par 3 Course in Provo. It is the first night-lit golf course in Utah.
11. The overall golf industry revenue has grown compared to 2019.
Golf has surged in popularity in the latter half of 2020. This is because people were looking for socially distanced outdoor activities amidst the pandemic. A 13.9% increase in rounds played meant increased revenue from green fees as well.
Additionally, according to DataTech, golf equipment retail sales grew by 10.1% compared to 2019, with revenue coming up to $2.81 billion.
Miscellaneous Golf Industry Statistics
Numbers paint a patchy picture of the golf industry’s miscellaneous segments. For example, even though the golf course stats show promise, mini-golf is not faring so well.
The North American market is booming with electric carts. However, the golf apparel industry is seeing the Asian-Pacific companies become significant players on the market.
12. Golf cart industry stats hold a positive outlook.
According to market analysis of the golf cart and buggy industry, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% over the next five years.
Due to the growing mentality of eco-friendliness, the electric carts market segment is expected to grow the most. Over 41,000 units are expected to be made between 2021 and 2026, and that’s in North America alone.
13. Recent mini-golf industry statistics reveal declining interest.
Over the past five years, the interest in mini-golf has stopped growing. On the contrary, it has even dropped. In the 2015–2020 period, the average industry growth rate has been -3.1%. This drop of interest is attributed to competition from in-home and digital entertainment options.
14. The US country club and golf course industry are growing.
Going by available revenue data, the country club and golf course market in the US is worth $25.8 billion as of February 11 this year. Moreover, projected golf industry statistics for 2021 show a growth expectation of 1.5% for the year.
15. The golf apparel market is set to grow by 4% in 2020–2024.
The global market for golf apparel, footwear, and accessories is expected to experience a CAGR of 4% during 2020–2024, according to a market analysis by Technavio. The golf apparel industry statistics featured in the report predict an incremental growth of $2.82 billion.
The North American market segment will make up 37% of this growth. However, the Asia Pacific is a growing power on the market. Some of the most prominent players are Japanese companies, such as MIZUNO Corp., ASICS Corp., and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
How much does the average golfer spend per year?
Golf reviewer, Jason Scott Deegan, estimates that a year of golf can cost $832–$3,454 for junior players and $1,849–$3,349 for adult golfers.
Meanwhile, Chris Nickel, a teacher and coach, estimates that a year of golfing would cost around $700, or $50–$75 a month for beginners.
For the average golf enthusiast, it comes up to $4,260–$5,555. Finally, for hardcore fans of the game, he cites a yearly total of $13,444 for all equipment, apparel, fees, etc.
Is the number of golfers increasing?
Yes, in the short term. In the long term, though, there’s an overall decline. According to the National Golf Foundation, there was a net increase of 500,000 participants in green grass golf in 2020.
However, many people quit playing or put it on indefinite hold due to anxiety and financial stress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Compared to 25 years ago, the number of green grass golfers is the same, despite general population growth. That means that the percentage of the US populace who participate in golf has actually dropped from 11% to 8%.
How much is the golf industry worth?
The National Golf Foundation estimated the industry’s worth to be $84 billion in 2019. In terms of golfing equipment, the report claims that the clubs and balls market was worth $2.7 billion in 2018.
Professional golf earnings vary with individual players’ tour performance, and tours themselves heavily depend on weather and travel conditions. In 2020, the top earner on the PGA tour was an American golfer, Dustin Johnson, who had earned $3.11 million at the time of the research.
The interest in the game surged in the second half of 2020 due to it being a socially distanced outdoor activity. The golf course industry has had to adapt a bit, though, offering opportunities for night play, off-course games, as well as single-rider and eco-friendly transport.
Interest in mini-golf has noticeably fallen, but golf industry statistics overall show promising growth in all segments. Those market segments include apparel, equipment, country clubs, cart sales, and golf staycations.