The Graffis Report

A year of resurgence for the U.S. golf industry

The outlook coming into 2020 was already bullish – stabilization and evolution were the pervading macro trends, with on-course golfers hovering around 24 million for a sixth consecutive year, and off-course participation continuing to grow by double digits each year, thanks to the increasing popularity of golf entertainment venues, indoor simulators and other off-course outlets. This, alongside a deeper-than-ever pool of interested on-course prospects, gave reason for optimism in 2020.

The novel coronavirus pandemic presented both obstacles and opportunity, with spring shutdowns giving way to an unprecedented summer and fall in terms of rounds, golfer introductions and reintroductions, and robust consumer spending.

Report now available for FREE to NGF Members:

Non-members can purchase the 2020 industry overview here:

Graffis cover

We bring golf businesses together. Data sets them apart. Insight drives them forward.

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.

16,165

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
Log in to access reports and publications.

Get some of our latest research and insights delivered right to your inbox.

Sign up today to receive NGF's complimentary bi-weekly newsletter, Fortnight, which covers the latest trends impacting golf businesses.

Our unique Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from various sectors of the industry, a diversity that brings broad perspective to our work.

NGF is a community of individuals and golf businesses committed to being the most well-informed advocates for the advancement of the industry. 

Learn why thousands of industry leaders support the NGF.

NGF_TheQ_Logo_Full_Color

The NGF Q

The only publication for interested in the business of golf.

Golf Around the World

Did you know that 82% of countries worldwide have golf courses – from American Samoa to Zambia? Or that there are more than 38,000 courses globally? Only 7-Eleven and Subway have…

Read More

Tiger’s Long Tale

Tiger Woods is one of the very best things that ever happened to golf. A quarter century ago, he turned pro, and two simple words reshaped the business of golf.…

Read More

July 2021 National Rounds Played Report

  Rounds played continued to see encouraging momentum during July even though year-over-year play was actually down compared to last year’s pandemic-fueled summer surge. July is typically the highest-volume month…

Read More

Course Supply Leveling Out

This could be the year golf course supply in the U.S. levels out. For about the past 15 years, total supply in the world’s biggest golf market has been slowly…

Read More

Rounds Played Continue at Elevated Levels

The most frequently asked question since the beginning of the year, and even before then, was whether the elevated level of golf activity (equipment sales, rounds played, overall participation) would…

Read More

June 2021 National Rounds Played Report

  Rounds of golf for June 2021 were essentially equal to June of last year, when the industry began to see nationwide surges in play throughout the summer months. The…

Read More

Equipment Sales Continue Run

Golf equipment sales: a mid-year update. The surge in equipment sales that began last May is showing no signs of letting up. Through June, YTD combined golf club and ball…

Read More

Interview: Troon President & CEO Tim Schantz

Troon President and CEO Tim Schantz has more than 30 years experience specializing in corporate and real estate transactional matters, including the past 20+ years focused on the golf and…

Read More

Golf: There’s An App for That

When the iOS App store opened in 2008 – less than a month after Tiger’s dramatic U.S. Open playoff win at Torrey Pines – 500 applications were available for Apple…

Read More

Golf Apps Continue to Gain Adoption

With clubhouses and golf shops closed in some areas for an extended time in 2020, golfers embraced new approaches – whether it was reserving tee times, checking in or posting…

Read More

The most reliable source for golf industry information.

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: