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 2019.

Southern Dunes Golf Club / Allan Henry / ahenry.com,
NGF_Web_GIF_Golfers2

0 Million

– Americans age 6+ -

played golf – both on-course and off-course – in 2019.

This includes 24.3 million people who played on a golf course and another 9.9 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 2019:

0 Million

The industry has had six straight years with more than 2 million beginners. By comparison, there were 1.5 million beginners in 2011. Prior to the past three years, the previous recorded-high of 2.4 million was set in 2000, when Tiger Woods was at the height of his popularity.

NGF_Web_GIF_Golfers_Beginners
NGF_Web_GIF_Golfers_YA

The category of young adults (18-34 year olds) is the sport's biggest customer age segment, 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 six 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 2019, remaining relatively stable in relation to recent years, with the participation base 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.

NGF_Web_GIF_Golfers_Juniors
NGF_Web_GIF_Golfers_female

There were approximately

0 Million Female On-Course Golfers

(age 6+) in 2019.

The number of female golfers (adult and junior) has held steady at approximately 6 million over the past six years.

0%

of on-course golfers are women. Females represent a disproportionately higher percentage of beginners (31%), juniors (36%) and off-course participants (46%) than they do in the overall golf population.

Latent Demand

0 Million

people who didn’t play golf in 2019 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.

There are almost 35 million more who say they are "somewhat interested" in playing.

NGF_Web_GIF_Golfers_LD

Rounds Played

(Looking for monthly rounds played reports? Click here.)
NGF_Web_GIF_RP1

In total there were about

0 Million Rounds

of golf played on golf courses throughout the U.S. in 2019,

up slightly from 434 million in 2018 due to a mild improvement in weather conditions in regions with a richer supply of golf facilities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said 2019 was actually the second-wettest year on record nationally and golf, as the No. 1 pay-for-play participation sport played outdoors, is particularly dependent on the weather.

In 2019, golfers played an average of

0 Rounds

An up close image of a golf club next to a ball on tee
NGF_Web_GIF_RP3
Baby Boomers

The number of golfers age 65-and-over increased to 5.3 million in 2019. This number should continue to increase as the balance of Baby Boomers, the youngest of whom are 55, cross this milestone. As they retire, they should continue to positively impact rounds for the next decade. Golfers who were 65 or over played an average of

0 Rounds

in 2019
Young Adults

Golfers in the 18-34 age range played less frequently than boomers - a likely byproduct of increased demands on their time and involvement with a variety of other activities. This segment averaged approximately

0 Rounds

in 2019

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 2019

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

Golf is more accessible than ever, with

0%

of facilities open to the public

(2,500+ Municipal, 8,300 Daily Fee+)
NGF_Web_GIF_GSC1
NGF_Web_GIF_GSC2
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).

Investment in golf courses remains significant with major course renovations replacing new construction as the focus of investment.

Almost

0

major golf course renovations have been completed since 2006, representing an estimated total investment of approximately

$0 Billion

NGF_Web_GIF_RP5