It is early days but it appears golf has split the fairway on the opening hole of its return from Coronavirus related course closures and regulations, writes Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS).
With courses in England reopening to two-ball play from Wednesday May 13 and other countries in Great Britain following suit over the subsequent weeks, the competition for elusive tee times has been fierce for members and visitors alike, with many courses reporting record levels of demand.
Sports Marketing Surveys’ rounds played monitor tracks the volume of rounds being played at a consistent panel of over 250 courses throughout Great Britain on a quarterly basis.
Amid the disruption of COVID-19, SMS has collected figures from over 100 courses for May 2020 to provide some early insights into how the sport is bouncing back in the first month of opening.
For a fair comparison, SMS has only monitored data with clubs that have submitted figures in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and has adjusted figures to reflect the number of days that the course has been open in May.
The results show that rounds played across GB have seen an impressive average uplift of circa 40% compared to a similar amount of days in 2019 and over 30% compared to 2018.
The South region has seen the greatest increase with high demand in the second half of May fuelling 2020 figures that are a staggering 51% higher than the equivalent period in 2019.
With fourball golf now back on the agenda, working-from-home the new normal and social distancing being easily achieved over the expanse of a golf course, SMS will be closely monitoring whether golf can sustain this increase in June and through the rest of the summer.
Equally as importantly, SMS looks forward to supporting its clients across the industry to ensure that golf can capitalise on the reignited interest in the sport and secure the long-term future of the game.