Playing Golf Is Now Vogue

I read an article from the CTV News (a national news agency in Canada) and it said that the number of rounds of golf played in 2022 rose in North America. This is great news for the golf industry and I hope the trend continues. Instead of me trying to explain the data, I will let you read it for yourself:

Recreational golf continued to reach new heights of popularity in 2022.

Lightspeed Commerce, which does data management for golf courses, released its industry-wide annual report on Wednesday.

It showed ongoing growth of the game in North America, continuing a trend started in 2020 when golf was one of the few social activities where people could remain physically distant to avoid spreading COVID-19.

“To see everything being in the black was really encouraging, where the state of golf is right now, not only in Canada, but in North America,” said Lightspeed Golf general manager David Hope, who is based in Montreal.

We saw rounds going up year-over-year, where I think the majority of governing bodies and associations were expecting rounds to be down but rounds were actually up.”

Lightspeed works with more than 800 golf courses in the U.S. and over 500 in Canada.

It found that there were 9.6 per cent more rounds of golf played in North America in 2022 versus the previous year. That includes a 7.5 per cent increase in Canada, with British Columbia (15.9, and Quebec (8%) leading the upswing.

“I think when you look at some of the golfer retention numbers in terms of what they favour, the reason for coming back to golf, overall experience is leading there,” said Hope.

He added clubs have been improving other parts of their business beyond the course, with more attention paid to the retail and dining experiences.

Not every province saw growth, however.

Canada’s Maritime provinces saw a 7.4 per cent decrease in rounds played between 2021 and 2022. Hope said that drop may have been due to extreme weather in the region, as New York, Connecticut and other markets on the East Coast also saw a dip in play.

“Weather is one of those variables that we really can’t control,” said Hope. “Now obviously, (Hurricane Fiona) hit the Maritimes towards the latter part of the golf season, which actually impacted the data even more but what we’re referencing here is pre-hurricane data in the Maritimes.

“Even without the hurricane data, we still noticed that rounds were down roughly about seven per cent.”

Conversely, B.C.’s numbers may have sharply risen in 2022 because widespread wildfires in the Pacific Northwest the previous year could have kept golfers off the course.

Lightspeed’s report also found that July 25-31 was the busiest week of the year, followed closely by June 27-July 4.

Courses also saw the average golfer spend 4.2 per cent more overall, with notable increases in the pro shop (4.99. However, the average increase was still lower than the average consumer price index increase in both Canada and the United States, as worldwide economies grapple with inflation.

Although the number of recreational golf rounds played increased, most duffers still aren’t signing up for a club membership. Lightspeed found that 94 per cent of North American golfers preferred playing at public or semi-private courses and 76 per cent liked paying daily green fees, compared to 18 per cent using passes or subscriptions and 14 per cent having full-time memberships at courses.

This is a good news story for golf and as I am not an expert, I can see many offshoot advantages of more rounds of golf being played. I am still in my winter freeze, but reading articles like the CTV wrote does uplift my spirits as I wait for spring.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s