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Networking on the golf course is poised for a comeback

Posted by Neha De

October 26, 2021    |     2-minute read (348 words)

Golf has always been a popular sport in the U.S. — especially for business networking. Many executives are involved with the game of golf in some way or the other, irrespective of industry.

But interest in the game was seen to be fading when the pandemic hit. Since many courses were closed as the coronavirus advanced, total rounds played in March 2020 fell 8.5% compared to March 2019, and rounds in April fell 42.2%, based on reports by Golf Datatech and the National Golf Foundation. 

Now, with the pandemic not showing signs of a slowdown and many people still refusing to get vaccinated, the socially distant nature of the sport has led to a furious rebound. National Golf Foundation’s data from June 2020 shows: “Rounds-played increased 13.9% nationally in June, a continuation of the recent surge in golf participation amid the coronavirus pandemic. This rise translates to approximately 7 million or 8 million more rounds than June of 2019.” 

The data also revealed, “The June increase follows a 6.2% bump in May, helping the industry continue its recovery after more than 20 million Spring rounds were lost due to coronavirus-related course shutdowns and anxiety.”

The surge continues in 2021

The latest data from the National Golf Foundation shows that rounds played were up 0.4% nationally for June and +23% year to date. More importantly, the year to date rounds are still running 19% ahead of the 2017 to 2019 average.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided many people with two things in abundance: disposable income and idle time. Golf is known to be a preferred sport for people who have ample access to both. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, millions of consumers — especially young people who got into the game because they could not play football, soccer or some other sport — suddenly found themselves having a lot of free time as well as disposable income.

Now, as the world reopens slowly and a new generation of young golfers familiarize themselves with the sport's frustrations and challenges, the future of the game looks bright. 

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