Golf rounds soared despite the unprecedented pandemic

Updated: February 2, 2021

Not so long ago courses were closing at record numbers and word was circulating about golf being dead or dying. When we entered the pandemic year it was hard to be optimistic about the future of golf. As 2020 started to progress, something happened that no one could foretell, golf courses around the country started filling up. No, it wasn’t your imagination, tee times were harder to get.

Golf Datatech released a 2020 U. S. Golf Retail Performance Report and it shows that the rounds were up with the largest full year increase in history. The U.S. Golf Datatech’s report indicates rounds soared by 13.9% over 2019. The year-over-year surge in rounds and retail sales are primarily a result of golf being positioned as a near ideal socially distanced activity during a pandemic. Fueled by a combination of avid players, newcomers and infrequent golfers, 2020 demand for all things golf surged during the second half of the year.

While rounds played and equipment sales experienced increases in 2020, apparel sales went the other direction and dropped 14.2%. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel and lockdowns, resorts, which sell a significant amount of logoed apparel were particularly hard hit.