Can the Golf Business be “Fixed” in 2020?

PGA Merchandise Show

Follow-Up Question: Is It Really Broken?

At the 2020 PGA Show, the International Network of Golf (ING) hosted their annual, long-running Pellucid State of the Industry presentation made by industry analytics vets Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp and Stuart Lindsay of Edgehill Consulting.

Some key data highlights from their presentation:

– 2019 showed 20.6 million golfers played 432 million rounds. Those numbers are comparable to 2018, but they are well down from peak 2000 when there were 29.8 million players;

– Percentage of population who played golf in 2000 was 9%; the percentage of population who played golf in 2019 was 7%;

– Average rounds per facility in 2000 was 36,500 each; the average rounds per facility in 2019 was 32,300 each;

– The golf course industry is currently utilizing only 55 percent of tee sheet capacity; this percentage is relatively the same as during 1990-2000 boom, but back then 250-300 new courses were being added each year;

– Since 2000, there has been a net loss of 815 golf courses operating in the USA;

– There is no evidence as of yet to suggest that “alternative golf facilities” (Topgolf, Drive Shack, etc) is creating any type of cross-over for new players to golf courses.

Some of the solutions suggested during the presentation:

– flexible pricing for tee times
– making each facility more amenable to women and minorities
– encouraging entry-level golf
– capturing golfer contact information at public facilities

So that’s the data and suggested solutions. Feel free to weigh in with your comment below (or on Facebook or Twitter) with your own interpretations and ideas…