Golf is Booming.
Golf has enjoyed a significant boost over the summer months between lockdowns. Tee time bookings were high and membership sales soared for many clubs. After several years of declining interest, as soon as the opportunity to play was taken away, paradoxically that’s what many wanted to do. The future is bright. Or is it?
Disclaimer: I am not a golf club Secretary, General Manager, Chief Executive or Director of Golf, but I see many clubs in the course of my professional life, and I am a golfer (second disclaimer – I am not a member of a golf club).
When courses have been open this summer, they have been busy – as busy as they’ve been for years (maybe ever?). Members are playing more golf than before; golfers who’ve not played in years are returning to the game in droves. Demand is high…for now. But, once society slowly starts to return to normal, what’s to stop those old demands on time and attention returning, meaning those new-found enthusiasts lose their new-found enthusiasm? What caused these people to walk away from the game in the first place and what has to change to stop them walking away again (only this time they will be gone for good)? I see lots of busy courses; I see lots of optimism based around tee times currently being full. I see very little in the way of addressing, or eliminating, the core issues that challenged golf in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The issues golf had before the pandemic are still there and will be there long after the pandemic is over, unless we do something about it now.
Who is asking the questions as to why many golfers have come back to the sport? And, more importantly, who is asking what needs to happen to keep them involved in the long term? These are fundamental questions, and ones we should all be asking.
As the saying goes: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result’.