In recent years there has been a lot of press around the shrinking popularity of golf. Many reasons have been given, but a few of the most common are the cost of equipment, the lack of time in a busy schedule, the difficulty of the sport and the well-publicized fall of the game’s most popular superstar, Tiger Woods.
However, according to the National Golf Foundation, golf’s participation base remains stable. The number of people who played golf on a course in 2017 remained unchanged since the year before (23.8 million), and an additional 8.3 million played at off-course facilities like Topgolf, driving ranges or indoor simulators. In addition, the number of U.S. non-golfers who said they are “very interested” in playing at a golf course hit a new measured high, and helped boost the number of golf newcomers for the fourth year in a row.
All of this is good news for companies that want to reach a wide variety of potential customers. Golf isn’t limited to middle-age executives, as some may imagine. Consider the statistics:
- Juniors (6-17) and young adults (18-34) comprise more than 37% of all on-course golfers. These groups make up 69% of the off-course only participant pool.
- There are 5.8 million women who played golf on a course in 2017. Women account for 24% of the on-course golfer base and 41% of off-course only play.
- Newcomers to golf are increasingly diverse: 35% are female, 26% are non-Caucasian and 70% are under the age of 35.
The variety of branded merchandise that is available for these groups is as diverse as the players themselves. The classic golf staples are always good – branded golf balls, towels, hats and divot tools. But for today’s eco conscious younger players, it’s good to consider more earth-friendly options.
- Reusable water bottles for those that have eschewed disposable one-time-use plastic bottles
- Dissolvable corn starch tees
- Organic cotton polos and hats
- Recycled golf balls
- Recyclable golf pad & pen combo
Spring is around the corner, and the game of golf is going strong. It’s time to start planning for your next golf giveaway.