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Special Reports

NGF’s reports and publications are free to members, providing data 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. 

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2020 Golf Industry Report

Golf Industry Report

The Golf Industry Report compiles many of the…

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Rounds Played Summary

The National Rounds Played Summary provides an overview…

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Golf Instruction Report

An inside look at the $1 billion golf…

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Off-Course Golf Specialty Retail

NGF’s annual update on off-course golf retail store…

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Summary of Golf Participation in the U.S.

This one-page summary of consumer engagement in golf…

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Golf Participation in the U.S.

The NGF has surveyed Americans regarding golf participation…

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Summary of Golf Facilities in the U.S.

This one-page summary includes a look at golf…

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Golf Facilities in the U.S.

This comprehensive report provides an overview of golf…

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NGF Reads

Military Golf in the U.S.

By National Golf Foundation | November 11, 2021

Lee Trevino had wins big and small during his Hall of Fame playing career, but when asked about the trophy that meant the most to him, he cited the silver bowl he was awarded as a member of The Marine Corps. That trophy, which his wife even went to the trouble of refurbishing, was the prize for winning the 1959 Okinawa Chamber of Commerce Open over the sand greens at Awase Meadows while stationed at Middle Camp Fuji in Yokohama, Japan.

In more recent years, Tiger Woods cut his teeth at Navy Golf Course in Cypress, California, Paula Creamer was introduced …


Green Fee Changes and the Cost of Golf

By National Golf Foundation | October 22, 2021

When rounds increased almost 14% nationwide in 2020 amid the pandemic, the increased green fee revenue helped some operators offset losses in other areas such as food & beverage, events and tournaments, and merchandise, not to mention the spring stretch when over half of U.S. golf facilities were closed due to the coronavirus. It also prompted questions about whether, in 2021, there was any correlative increase in playing fees — whether in response to the heightened demand, a rise in operational costs, lost revenue, minimum wage increases, or other reasons.

In a summer survey of public golf course operators, 67% reported some kind …


Course Openings That Bucked the Trend

By National Golf Foundation | August 21, 2021

There have been far more golf course closures than openings in the U.S. over the past 15 years. But did you realize that almost 740 U.S. golf courses have had openings during that period? That total, during what’s looked at as a “down period” for the industry, is more than the entire golf course supply in nations such as Scotland, Ireland, Spain and South Africa.

Not All Golf Course Closures Are Failures

By National Golf Foundation | August 14, 2021

“In a eulogy,” award-winning architect Tom Doak once stated, “there is always a tendency to dismiss the weaknesses of the departed and canonize him for the most basic of human qualities. I suppose the same is true for golf courses, especially since their mortality is not preordained…”

No good golf course deserves to die, though many do — and for many reasons. Course closures have outweighed new openings for 16 straight years during the ongoing balancing of supply and demand in the U.S. golf market, and Doak himself is no exception. No fewer than six of his course designs have …


U.S. Golf Facility Supply Since 1930

By National Golf Foundation | August 13, 2021

There have been two significant periods of facility growth in the U.S. golf market: the public golf boom of the 1960s and then the overbuild of real estate-related courses in the 1990s.

Since closures first began to outweigh new openings in 2006, the total number of U.S. golf facilities has declined by 1,992. Over the previous 16-year period, facility supply had jumped by 3,399, eclipsing 16,000 in total.


Course Supply Leveling Out

By Joseph Beditz | August 12, 2021

NGF’s database team has seen a significant drop in a particular supply-based area during the first half of 2021. Could this be the year golf course supply in the U.S. levels out?

Off-Course Golf: How Big Can It Get?

By Ted Eleftheriou | May 9, 2021

The number of off-course golf participants and off-course venues continues to grow, from golf entertainment facilities like Topgolf, Drive Shack and BigShots to commercial simulator locations popping up around the country. So, how big can the off-course golf market get?

February Rounds Down, Indicators Still Good

By Joseph Beditz | March 25, 2021

The latest monthly numbers show something the golf industry hasn’t seen in a while — a decline in play. How much of an impact did Mother Nature have in February?

February 2021 National Rounds Played

By National Rounds Played | March 24, 2021

February rounds were down 4.7% nationwide compared to a year ago, when play for the month had been up 19% before the pandemic hit the U.S.

Interview: KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner

By National Golf Foundation | March 12, 2021

Steve Skinner has been the Chief Executive Officer for KemperSports since 2008, helping oversee a portfolio of approximately 80 U.S. golf facilities. The KemperSports lineup ranges from municipal courses, private clubs and upscale daily fee properties to destination resorts such as Bandon Dunes (Oregon), Sand Valley (Wisconsin) and Streamsong (Florida). The company’s golf facilities saw…