BOSTON, Mass – Golf Datatech, LLC, the golf industry’s leading independent market research firm for retail sales, consumer and trade trends, today unveiled the results of its National Rounds Played Report for the month of November 2020. According to data compiled directly from golf course owners and operators, rounds of golf at public, private and resort courses nationwide were up 57% for the month and over 13% year-to-date through November 2020.
“Since golf returned from a near national shutdown in late spring due to Covid-19, we’ve recorded double digit growth every month for the last seven months” said John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech. “November was another excellent month for rounds, up an astounding 57% over the same month in 2019. Typically, it’s a time of year when much of the country is starting to wind down for winter and it can be uncomfortable to be outside to play. This year, however, we had above average weather for playing the game, continuing a lengthy streak of minimal precipitation and warm temperatures.”
Krzynowek adds, “Due to the continuation of limited play and attendance of youth sports, college and pro football, as well as minimal travel and restrictions on other activities, people kept coming to their golf courses to play in November. Golf is the perfect social distancing outdoor recreational activity for any and every member of the family.”
For the six-state New England region golf in November was up a whopping 165% over 2019, due mostly to good weather conditions, including temperatures averaging about 7 degrees above normal.
In 1999, Golf Datatech undertook the task of creating the golf industry’s first monthly projections of rounds played by state and region around the country. The Company’s objective from day one was to provide accurate estimates of the health of golf by tracking rounds, which are the engine that drives almost every other aspect of the business. The company also receives support from the NGF (delivering course data) and WeatherTrends (weather data) in an effort to provide the industry with granular detail at the market level.
November’s rounds data indicated that only three states, Hawaii, Florida and New Mexico showed negative results for the month. This is due to a season long decline in golfer travel to Hawaii, while Florida, especially southern Florida, was hit hard by rain caused by tropical storm Eta that hit in the early part of the month and caused flooding in some areas. Additionally, New Mexico was under a statewide order to close non-essential businesses including golf courses November 16 – 30.
“Based on our analysis, since the start of the pandemic and related lockdowns, international and long-distance travel remains a challenge for many (but not all) resort facilities, particularly in markets like Hawaii where rounds are down over 35% YTD,” said Krzynowek. “Public facilities have been consistently packed with players post lockdowns, and private club membership has skyrocketed. In fact, public course rounds played are up nearly 12% year-to-date, while rounds at private courses are up nearly 19% year-to-date. We expect this trend to continue at least into the first half of 2021, as the pandemic keeps people confined to their local communities looking for socially distant activities that they can enjoy outdoors.”
Krzynowek concludes, “Each month we’re able to provide data so that our industry partners can keep their finger on the pulse of the golf industry, both nationally and regionally, and right now support for the game itself is strong. In late January 2021 we will provide detailed insights into both rounds and golf equipment sales trends for all of 2020. We anticipate the look back on the year, despite the pandemic, will be quite positive.”
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