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NGF Research: A New Year Brings New Opportunities (and Resolutions) for Golfers

The New Year comes with the promise of new opportunities for golfers. Perhaps it’s the chance to break 90 for the first time, play a bucket-list course, take some lessons, introduce a son or daughter to the game, splurge on a golf trip or possibly make that elusive hole-in-one.

According to a recent National Golf Foundation survey, approximately four out of ten core golfers (those who play 8 or more rounds in a year) made one or more golf-related resolutions for the New Year. Of those, the majority – almost two-thirds — are seeking game improvement, whether that’s shooting lower scores more frequently or shaving a few strokes off their handicap.

There’s also a strong desire for many of these golfers (45%) to play more often in 2018, a well-intentioned goal that golf course operators – and many others throughout the industry — no doubt hope becomes a reality.


Beyond game improvement, approximately one-half of golfers making resolutions intend to focus on self-improvement and getting in better shape. Like so many tour pros adopting healthier lifestyles and fitness regimens, the amateur golfer seems motivated to follow suit.

A smaller percentage of golfers (11%) have resolved to take lessons in the New Year. This seems to be a bit of a disconnect versus the number who said they’re seeking game improvement, but implies that many golfers may seek to go it alone – whether through more frequent play or more practice time. That said, there is opportunity for persuasive instructors or teaching pros eager to help golfers improve.

There is a similar of proportion of golfers (9%) who have “resolved” that this is the year they’ll make a hole-in-one, skill and luck apparently notwithstanding.

At the start of a New Year, possibility and potential seem boundless. And for those making golf-related resolutions, the vows to play more, practice more and work to improve themselves or their game are all steps in the right direction. It is encouraging momentum that not only helps the golf industry overall, it also might just make that hole-in-one a reality.

Erik Matuszewski
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