November 2021 Industry Report

Year-to-date rounds at public courses are up 26% (versus last year) and 13% at private clubs (versus last year). This is a reversal from 2020 when gains at private clubs exceeded those at public courses. All told, rounds played are tracking 19% ahead of 2019 when the word COVID didn’t exist. This has created a “happy problem” of morning tee time compaction generating – at times – an unhappy membership. I want to caution you from making drastic changes to your tee sheet in order to appease more players. If rounds played start to drift to historical norms, you may wish you never made such changes. So, look at minor modifications that will open up additional availability. One such modification that may work for you is to allow groups (defined as a minimum of eight players) to only play after 11 am. This will avoid a group from monopolizing a block of tee times during the popular 8 am – 11 am time frame. Clubs that have instituted such a system have had little pushback and overall feedback is positive.

Golf in the News

Most golf focused media have been touting golf’s resurgence. We have another tailwind in our favor according to the National Golf Foundation. A decidedly positive media narrative about golf is circulating in non-endemic publications (like Esquire, Adweek, and The Wall Street Journal). It was only a short time ago that headlines blared golf was doomed. Today, pundits are raving about golf’s renaissance like they haven’t since Tiger’s heyday.

Marking a Golden Anniversary

Next year marks Executive Golfer’s golden anniversary. My parents founded our media company in 1972 (the same year Pong was introduced by video game maker Atari). Our fall print edition  (with a circulation of 50,000) was distributed in 2,000 private golf clubs and all domestic American, Delta, and American Express Centurion lounges. Our vetted social media following (Facebook and Instagram) exceeds 100,000 – with a mix of “key influencers” including private club members, club champions, directors of golf, golf writers, Tour players, and industry influencers.