The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop rounds from being played on Minnesota golf courses this past year.
The Minnesota Golf Association, in conjunction with its allied golf associations and member golf clubs, completed its second annual facility rounds study to more accurately track golf participation in the state.
For the second consecutive year, golf facilities across all categories in Minnesota reported an increase in rounds over the previous year by an average 6.9%.
The MGA surveyed 358 golf facilities from around the state, with 98 facilities reporting rounds over the last four years in the following categories: municipal, (42.4% reporting); private, (43.2%); public daily fee, (15.6%); and resort, (45%).
“As we discovered during the pandemic, golf was one of the few sports or activities that all Minnesotans could safely participate in throughout the summer,” said Tom Ryan, MGA executive director. “This new data shows that we have sustained last year’s remarkable momentum through the 2021 season.”
For 2020, with restrictions in place during the pandemic on most forms of outdoor recreational activities, golf rounds surged by an average of 31.5%.
The MGA reports this year’s average rounds increase was due to better weather, more playable days during the shoulder seasons (spring and the fall), a record number of beginner and lapsed golfers participating and core golfers playing more.
Likewise, MGA members — approximately 83,000 golfers who play at public and private golf clubs around the state — posted 1.4 million rounds of golf in 2020 and 1.6 million rounds in 2021, representing year-over-year increases of 48.9% and 14.2%, respectively.
“Playing golf continues to check all the boxes,” Ryan said. “It’s played outdoors, and represents both a physically and mentally healthful activity that thousands of kids and their families can participate in together.”