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Dig into data and trends impacting golf businesses.

As the industry’s leading independent and objective information resource, we provide our members with a wealth of golf research and insights on the game and business.

Golf on the Map

Explore golf’s geographic footprint through our interactive map to learn how many courses and golf-related businesses are in each state.

Looking for a specific course or business? Search our database.

2020 Industry Facts

24.8 Millon

people played on a golf course in 2020 (roughly 8% of the U.S. population age 6+)

12.1 Million

people only played golf off-course in 2020. (Golf entertainment, simulators, ranges)

501.8 Million

rounds of golf played in the U.S. in 2020, an uptick of more than 60M rounds from 2019.


golf courses at 14,145 total facilities (locations) in the U.S. at the end of 2020.

17 Million

non-golfers (age 6+) very interested in playing golf now - up 10% over 2019.

3 Million

people played golf for the very first time in 2020, a record number of beginners.

101 Million

Golf's total reach (including people who played, watched or read about golf in 2020) - nearly a third of the U.S. population.

$3.9 Billion

in annual fundraising through local, regional and national charitable events.

Reports & Publications

The NGF’s reports and publications are free to members, providing information and intel to make better-informed decisions. Browse our catalog, from annual reports on participation and golf course supply to more focused reports on key golfer segments and business categories.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Just ask. We’ve learned a lot in our 80-year history and chances are we have insights that will help.

2021 Golf Participation in the US
2020 Golf Industry Report cover
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September 2021 National Rounds Played

  Rounds played for September were down 8% nationwide compared to 2020, but continue to trend ahead of recent non-pandemic years. Although play in recent months has trailed the torrid…

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Santa Is On the First Tee

Demand for all things golf – including equipment, apparel and accessories — is projected to remain strong this holiday season, even as manufacturers and retailers wrestle with production, inventory and…

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Rethinking the Retention Question

As golf’s pandemic-fueled high tide reaches its 18th month in the U.S., we continue to field questions about the mid- and longer-term sustainability of more players and higher engagement, which…

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October 2021 National Rounds Played Report

October rounds-played almost matched the late-season surges seen in 2020, finishing just 1.8% shy of the trajectory from a year ago. October 2020 rounds had been up 32% over the…

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November 2021 National Rounds Played Report

  November saw the most significant year-over-year decline in nationwide rounds-played, in large part because of colder weather in well-supplied northern parts of the country than a year ago. In…

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New Normal or Old Normal?

The question continues to be asked whether the current higher levels of demand, seemingly for all things golf, can be sustained. If you believe in history repeating itself, the answer…

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Looking Back at 2021… Looking Forward to 2022

Hey, Ted (aka Hollywood) here. So, I snuck into Joe’s office and commandeered his bi-weekly message from NGF for this week. First… CONGRATULATIONS! You did it. You didn’t just get through…

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Golf Course Operators Regain Some Pricing Power

With golfers turning, and returning, to the golf course in greater numbers over the past year-and-a-half, this increased demand has given some pricing power back to operators – at least…

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Amid Beginner Influx, Where Are the Introductory Golf Programs for Adults?

Consider this. There were 3 million beginning golfers in the U.S. in 2020 – a record high – and the number of newcomers will top that total this year. Also…

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2021 Rounds to Top 2020 Play Surges

Last year was a banner year for rounds-played, despite virus-related spring shutdowns that affected half the nation’s courses. This year will be even better. While ‘official’ year-end data won’t be…

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The NGF’s proprietary data and research is regularly cited by national news organizations in stories that highlight the health and vitality of the golf industry. See the latest buzz: