February 2024 Industry Report

Research reveals only 9% of Americans that make New Years resolutions complete them. Interesting facts:

– 23% quit their resolution by the end of the first week.

– 43% quit by the end of January.

– Women (64%) feel slightly more pressured to set a resolution than men (60%).

– More people cite improved fitness as a top resolution (48%), compared to improved finances (38%).

– Younger adults (59% of those ages 18-34) versus 19% (those older than 55) establish a resolution.

PGA Show

The PGA Merchandise Show, with 30,000+ attendees, grew from humble beginnings in 1954, when a handful of golf merchandisers assembled in the PGA National Golf Club parking lot during a series of PGA winter tournaments. By 1957, the number of manufacturers’ representatives had become so large, approximately 50 by then, that PGA officials leased a tent. The rest, as they say, is history.

Golf and Charity

Consider golf’s philanthropic contributions. No sport has as significant a charitable effect as golf, which enabled $4.6 billion in giving in 2022 (last year of data available). Need perspective? That’s approximately 1% of all charitable giving in the United States.

Construction Ramps Up

According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 69 new courses of varying lengths under construction and another 47 that are in the planning phase. When it comes to courses actively under construction, the current count is a far cry from the 400+ that were being built two decades ago, but almost double the recent three-year pre-pandemic average. About two-thirds of new course projects are private clubs. By comparison, private facilities account for about 25% of the national supply.

Stock Market Correlation

There is a strong correlation with stock market performance and private club membership sales/luxury vacation bookings. Over the last 50 years, the stock market had an average return of 9.4%. Last year, in the face of much higher interest rates and macro geopolitical hot spots the stock market (Nasdaq) returned a blistering 43% – with seven stocks (Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia, Meta, and Tesla accounting for about two-thirds of the gains). As you implement 2024 budgets, I think caution is warranted. Another solid stock market return is not a guarantee.