As 2023 draws to a close, it’s a fitting time to look back, look ahead, and examine the growing appetite for green-grass golf.
Following a trend that’s emerged in the post-pandemic era, this year is poised to finish about 3% ahead of last year and as one of the strongest for rounds played in U.S. history.
Looking ahead, in a recent survey of Core golfers (8+ rounds annually), 93% told us they expect to play as much or with greater frequency over the next year. Three-quarters of respondents indicated their play levels would likely remain about the same while another 18% said they were going to play more.
While only 7% said they expected to play less, those who did cited cost and time most frequently as obstacles to play, possibly in response to rising green fees and more time in the office versus working from home.
Among golfers surveyed, half (50%) indicated that they had not found it more difficult to get tee times and another 30% said it’s only been a little more difficult. Most respondents who said it was much more difficult to find tee times told us they just found other courses to play. So, despite the occasional gripe you might hear from golfers about the difficulty in booking those weekend tee times, rounds demand doesn’t seem to have been lost as much as shifted around.
One of the most eye-opening findings is that interest in green-grass golf is strongest among a particular age group, as NGF members can read about in this Spotlight story.
What’s your appetite for golf heading into 2024?