The business of golf has been hit hard by the international course closures caused by Covid-19. With no golf being played in Great Britain, there is understandable concern about what the future of the game looks like. How can golf courses navigate staffing restrictions to ensure that tees, fairways, greens and bunkers are pristine when golf returns? How will membership figures hold up as people weigh the costs against the many offers and inducements being proactively produced by courses to help ease the blow of paying for a subscriptions that cannot currently be used? How will bar and pro shop takings fare as people balance a desire to socialise and enjoy the golf club atmosphere with concerns about social distancing and potentially spreading coronavirus? How can PGA Professionals and golf coaches adapt to not being able to teach face-to-face, and what is the appetite for coaching? Will golfers want – or be able to invest in – new equipment? How can the sport support golf club managers and those working in the industry – and ensure the friendly welcome is still there when the sport starts again? Most fundamentally of all, how will Coronavirus affect the overall appetite for people playing the sport?
On that note, Sports Marketing Surveys’ latest participation research, completed at the start of 2020, heralds some much needed positive news for the industry. Latent demand for the sport is strong, and the start of the year, before the pandemic hit, was showing some real positives in Great Britain. When golf recommences, the signs are that golfers will want to be back playing.
The following findings are taken from Sports Marketing Surveys’ definitive survey of golf participation in Great Britain in 2019.