Industry News

Industry adds 1M+ golfers in '20 but rounds surge didn't come from "new faces"!

Pellucid announces the topline results of their '20 consumer survey, in conjunction with the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) that show how "crazy good" '20 was for the golfer base:

  • On a single year basis, we had a net addition of 2-3M golfers; that marks the first annual upward move of the golfer base since its apex in 2002 near the 30M mark
  • Frequency (rounds/golfer/year) broke out of its 20-year trading range of 20-22 rising sharply to 24+
  • The survey also shows us that the majority of the 10%+ rounds increase in '20 came from Committeds (40+ rds/yr),  so it wasn't the "new faces" to the game that powered our rounds success
  • The Millennials again "missed the party bus" as the only age cohort that saw a (fractional) decline in participation
  • The largest gain in golfers and rounds came from the $75K+ income group, not surprising since they're a core constituency and those least affected by the pandemic economically (and likely higher incidence of work-from-home as well)

More details of the survey results can be obtained one of three ways:

  • Subscribe to our Outside the Ropes (OtR) monthly digital newsletter ($130 annual, 12 issues), the April edition will provide the commentary and table results of the size, shape and changes to the consumer base in '20 vs. '19
  • Subscribe to Pellucid Publications ($495 annual, all of Pellucid's reports and commentaries), you'll get both the OtR commentary on the Consumer Franchise as well as the Excel workbook containing all the underlying data in detail
  • Register to be a pilot participant (no charge, no-obligation) in Pellucid's Golf Market Research Center.  Email Jim K. and he'll provide more details on this facility owner/operators performance tracking & market benchmarking program

Pellucid President Jim Koppenhaver comments, "This is the most positive and diverse news that we've been able to publish in my 20+ years in the industry now.  Even using our tried-and-true methodology of multi-year smoothing of the annual results, the gain in golfers, frequency, rounds and involvement levels was so strong that even those figures increased nearly 1M golfers for '20.  COVID did in one year what the Golf 20/20 initiative and 20 years of player development players failed to do: increase the golfer base by seven-figures and increase frequency among existing golfers in any given year.  The $64,000 question now turns to, "How many of these new faces can we retain and how much of the increased frequency among the engaged can we maintain?"  Pellucid has projections and assumptions on that as well in the OtR series.  So what are you waiting for?"

Jim Koppenhaver, President, Pellucid Corp.