While course contraction continued, the National Golf Foundation’s 2017 report showed no direct impact on frequency of play, with rounds increasing in each of the past two years. The latest figures also reflect greater accessibility to the game through the highest-ever percentage of open-to-public facilities, and continuation of the trend for heavy investment in full-renovation projects.
The National Golf Foundation (NGF) has released Golf Facilities in the U.S.-2017 Edition. The report, which is free for NGF members, is NGF’s overview of the annual changes to America’s supply of courses.
Supported by what the NGF says is the most accurate and comprehensive database of golf facilities in the U.S., the report includes the number of golf course openings and closures in 2016, as well as major renovations and an update on properties currently in planning and under construction. The nation’s daily fee, municipal, private, and resort facilities are shown by state and region.
Per its latest report, NGF’s total facility count at the end of 2016 stood at 15,014, with 14,118 18-Hole Equivalent (18-HEQ) courses open and operating.
The NGF’s annual numbers for golf course openings and closings show that the U.S. golf supply contracted in 2016, continuing the natural market correction that began in 2006. ”NGF views the slow and steady reduction of U.S. courses as the natural economic response to the opening of more than 4,000 new golf facilities between 1986 and 2005,” said Greg Nathan, NGF’s Chief Business Officer. “This gradual reduction is indicative of the market’s healthy self-balancing of supply and demand, and a trend we expect to continue for several more years.
“American golfers have more than 15,000 green-grass facilities where they can tee it up, one reason the contraction in supply has shown no direct impact on frequency of play, with rounds played in the U.S. increasing each of the past two years,” Nathan added.
Other findings highlighted by the NGF from Golf Facilities in the U.S. – 2017 Edition included:
U.S. golf is more accessible than ever. 75% of facilities are open to the public, and the 2016 municipal facilities count was at an all-time high for the industry.
Heavy investment in golf courses continues. Since 2006, NGF has tracked almost 1,000 full-renovation projects that represent a total capital investment of at least $3 billion.
The U.S. is the best-supplied golf market in the world. U.S. supply represents about 45% of the world’s supply of courses.
The Golf Facilities in the U.S. – 2017 Edition is available for download at ngf.org. NGF members can download the report for free. The price for non-members is $200.