Golf Industry Facts

We’ve measured the health and vitality of the U.S. golf industry for more than 80 years.  Through the support of our members, we’re able to provide golf’s stakeholders with accurate and timely information that helps everyone in golf become smarter about the industry in which they operate.

Golfers

Golf participation is a core measure of golf’s vitality.  NGF closely tracks how many people play the game, as well as the demographic composition of golfing America.

Golf's overall reach is an estimated

0 Million

– one out of every three Americans age 6+ -

played golf (on-course or off-course), watched the sport or read about it in 2020.

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0 Million

– Americans age 6+ -

played golf – both on-course and off-course – in 2020.

This includes 24.8 million people who played on a golf course and another 12.1 million who participated exclusively in off-course golf activities at places like driving ranges, indoor golf simulators or golf entertainment venues like Topgolf and Drive Shack.

The number of people who played on a golf course for the first time in 2020 hit a record:

0 Million

The industry has had seven straight years with more than 2 million beginners. By comparison, there were 1.5 million beginners in 2011. The key for future growth, however, is retention.

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The category of young adults (18-34 year olds) is one of the sport's biggest customer age segments, with

0 Million

on-course participants and another

0 Million

off-course only participants.

The engagement within this demographic has remained steady for the past seven years. Interest in playing among non-golfing young adults is high, with more than 5 million saying they are "very interested" in taking up the game.

0 Million Juniors

played golf on a course in 2020, remaining relatively stable in relation to recent years, with the participation base typically fluctuating between 2.5 million and 3 million. This segment of the golf population is more diverse than ever before –

More than one-third

0%

of today's juniors are girls compared to 15% in 2000. More than one-quarter of juniors are non-Caucasian while just 6% were minority participants 20 years ago.

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There were approximately

0 Million Female On-Course Golfers

(age 6+) in 2020.

The number of female golfers (adult and junior) rose by approximately 450,000 in 2020.

0%

of on-course golfers are women. Females represent a disproportionately higher percentage of juniors (34%), beginners (36%) and off-course participants (45%) than they do in the overall golf population.

Latent Demand

0 Million

people who didn’t play golf in 2020 said they are "very interested" in playing golf on a golf course.

The significant in this pool of potential golfers over the past three years is attributable in part to the growth and popularity of off-course golf. Almost half of this untapped demand is comprised of "lapsed golfers" who played on a course previously, but not within the past year, while the rest are those who never played golf on a course before.

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Rounds Played

(Looking for monthly rounds played reports? Click here.)
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In total there were about

0 Million Rounds

of golf played on golf courses throughout the U.S. in 2020,

This reflected an increase of at almost 14% in U.S. rounds-played over 2019 play despite the loss of 20 million spring rounds due to coronavirus-related course shutdowns in March and April, when more than half of the 16,000+ courses in the country were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus.

In 2020, golfers played an average of

0 Rounds

An up close image of a golf club next to a ball on tee

Golf Course Supply

Since our start in 1936, we’ve kept tabs on every golf course in the U.S.  As the go-to source of golf supply information, our team verifies golf courses every day, identifying which are open, which closed and any new projects in development.  Not only do stakeholders benefit from knowing how many golf courses there are, they also get insight into the balance of public and private golf in the U.S., playing fees and more.

There were more than

0 Golf Courses at

0 Golf Facilities

in the U.S. at the end of 2020

(a facility is defined as a business location where golf can be played on one or more golf courses).

Golf remains highly accessible, with

0%

of facilities open to the public

(2,500+ Municipal, 7,900+ Daily Fee)
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Prior to 2006,

there was a 20-year expansion cycle where U.S. golf course supply grew by

0%

Since 2006,

there has been a cumulative contraction of approximately

0%

which has been disproportionately concentrated in value-priced courses (less than $40 greens fee).