Pandemic Golf — An Unexpected Boom And My Personal Journey

It’s been a few hours past since Dustin Johnson secured the Masters win at Augusta National and it now feels like the golf season for us casual players is coming to an end. What a year for golf — let’s break it down.

This has been the first year where I invested a good portion of my weeks to golf (around 40 rounds played). I’ve always been a casual twice a summer player but this year I really wanted to challenge myself. I signed up for some lessons at Golf-Tec (highly recommend coach Joel Martens) and on my way I went. Golf became a very therapeutic getaway for myself to escape from the day to day grind. It required extreme concentration which in return rewarded my hours of practice. It really became a sport like I never played before where such minor details in a swing motion affected so much. It required such attention to detail and athleticism to pull off the newly learned swing mechanics. This entire experience made me fall in love with the game like so many others. This however, isn’t an anomaly and has occurred to many new golfers since the global pandemic.

The pandemic business shutdowns started to occur around March in North America and this unfortunately occurred right when I was excited to finally start playing golf after many lessons over the Winter. Golf courses were not allowed to be opened and every golfer knew how absurd that was due to the natural social distancing aspect of the sport. After a couple months, governments passed laws to re-open golf courses with guidelines to make the game safer. These included eliminating bunker rakes, leaving flagsticks in the holes, and limiting players to one per cart.

People that were quarantined were looking for activities to do. Since many of these people were not allowed to travel for vacation anymore and had more free time (due to lay offs or working from home) golf demand exploded. It’s not just the amount of golfers that have stood out in 2020, but also the type of clientele courses are now getting. Courses are seeing more young families book tee times with the 20–35 year old age group also hitting the fairways. This presents a new challenge for courses to educate younger people on the rules and etiquette of the game. In my opinion, courses would highly benefit by dropping the “tuck your shirt in, don’t play music” energy as this has run it’s course (no pun intended).

  • In September, 25.5% more golf rounds were played than last year.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods online sales rose a whopping 194.0% quarter-over quarter.
  • Golf bag accessories were the No. 1 trending retail category on Google. This mainly included pushcarts due to social distancing, exercise and cheaper golf round rates.
  • Canada has the most scores posted ever in history during the month of June at around 1.5 million.
  • The number of junior golfers (ages 6–17) could increase by as many as 500,000 by the end of 2020, according to the National Golf Foundation.

As a new passionate golf nut, I’m very excited where this game is going and the impact it’s had on my life. It has challenged me in so many ways and has sucked me into this never ending cycle of getting better. Can’t wait until the next season starts.

Thanks for reading!

Alex Passero

Product Manager in Tech. I'm early in my career, growing, learning and have no idea where the next product will take me. I