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:

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

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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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The only publication for interested in the business of golf.

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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: