According to the National Golf Foundation, there may have been a turning point for golf course operations last week as more states and counties began allowing play. A national survey of golf facilities found 58% open for play, a significant increase over the prior week. And as restrictions continue to be relaxed, the NGF predicts the number could rise to 75% or higher by mid-May.
The changes last week were driven by two regions. The Mid-Atlantic went from having less than 1-in-20 courses open for play to almost 1-in-4, while the Great Lakes states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois also approved golf courses to reopen with enhanced safety practices in place, including walking-only play in some places.
While course openings are increasing, restrictions on pro shops, cart usage and F&B operations will result in lower overall revenue per round for operators. This is a reminder that while news of golf continuing to gain traction as a safe and healthy activity is encouraging, the industry is not out of the woods.