Golf popularity is growing in the United States, with more than 24 million people playing the sport. Golf’s overall reach is an estimated 108 million, and in 2019, one out of every three Americans played golf.
Over the years, golf has seen an increase in the number of players, and there was a summer-time surge impacted by the pandemic. In August 2020, US golfers logged 20% more rounds than in August 2019. This increase marks the fourth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase. And, in 2019, there were 2.5 million who played on a golf course for the first time.
But, the rise in golfing has been taking place over years. The industry has had six straight years with more than 2 million beginners.
Why golf popularity is growing
The coronavirus pandemic is a major cause of the recent uptick in golfing. Since COVID-19 shut down numerous recreational activities, many individuals looking to remain active have flocked to golf courses because of the open nature of the game.
With golf, players can avoid physical contact and maintain social distancing while enjoying fresh air and exercise. Golf is also more accessible than ever, with 75% of golf courses open to the public. As of 2019, there were 16,300 golf courses in the U.S.
What age group is the most popular?
You may be surprised to learn that 18 to 34-year-olds are the sport’s biggest customer age segment, with 6.1 million participants in this group. In Southwest Florida, it’s likely you see more 65+ golfers than some other areas of the country although nationally, this group isn’t far behind The number of golfers age 65-and-over increased to 5.3 million in 2019.
The number of female golfers has held steady for the last five years at approximately 6 million, representing 23% of all golfers. However, females represent a bigger share of the juniors (36%) and beginners (31%).
With the amazing courses in Southwest Florida, it’s likely golf will continue to be a popular sport for years to come.