More people plan to play more golf in the future, survey shows

Golf courses have become something of sanctuaries for people who have forced to shelter-at-home in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Golf Life Navigators has released its latest survey of people who have shown interest in buying homes in Sun Belt states, and there’s one interesting thing that’s trending up.

That would be golf.

Of the 1,000 potential homebuyers surveyed, 76% said they strongly agree with the statement: “I plan on playing more golf in the future.” That’s up 4% from the previous survey.

As the survey noted: “Without question, the game of golf has gained in popularity among buyers since mid-March.”


No wonder. Golf courses have become something of sanctuaries for people who have forced to shelter-at-home in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The wide-open spaces allow for social distancing and a measure of relief from cramped at-home conditions.

While many golf courses had been forced to close, most have since re-opened as long as they conform to safety measures.

And golf is getting other shots in the arm. A recent skins game between top golfers such as Rory McIIroy was nationally televised. And another match — featuring Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning versus Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady — will take place over the Memorial Day weekend.

Golf? It’s coming back.

This was the third such survey done by Golf Life Navigators, which helps potential buyers find the kind of golfing community or private club that fits them best. It’s been doing the surveys to track buyers and their feelings as the pandemic continues.

The survey wasn’t all glowing, though.

For instance, it showed that 76% of those responding answered “no” to the question: Are you currently seeking a membership in a club/community in the Sunbelt? 
That’s up 7% from the previous survey.

“The ‘second-time’ buyer market continues to shrink since the emergence of COVID-19 - and what is likely to be – a result of the country’s economic conditions,” Golf Life Navigators said.

However, only 33% said that the current economic conditions would delay their buying decisions. That was the same as the first survey as well as down 4% from the second one.

At the time of the first survey, Jason Becker, CEO of the Bonita Springs, Fla., firm, said the number was considerably lower than he expected given how poorly the stock market had been performing at the time.  

“That’s the most surprising number to me,” he said. 

In this most recent survey, his firm noted: “Buyers are trending in a more positive direction as it relates to their sentiment of the current economic conditions effecting the decision process. However, we still see 1⁄4 of buyers indicating the need for ‘more time’ before they can offer a transparent answer to the club industry.”

Golf Life Navigators is in a unique position to get the pulse of this buying population. More than 27,000 people have taken the firm’s online questionnaire called ProGuide3 during the past 24 months. 

Becker wanted to see how the coronavirus had changed buyers’ perspectives. The surveys ask four questions:

 

1) I am currently a member of a private club? 

 

2) Do you anticipate the country’s economic conditions to delay your buying decision? 

 

3) Has the threat of coronavirus impacted your buying decision for a new club/community in 2020? 

 

4) Has the drop in the stock market – and current economic conditions of our country – changed your search criteria for a club/community? Please rate 1-7. (1-strongly disagree; 7- strongly agree) 

 

“The data is timely, factual and designed to help us all gauge demand in the private club membership market closely so that our teams can plan appropriately,” Becker said.

One of the more positive trends is the increase in the number of people who are completing the firm’s ProGuide3 questionnaire.

The firm noted: “If we assume the buyers completing ProGuide3’s are of the ‘new’ marketplace, clubs should begin to see an eager pipeline of buyers who are engaged and ready to visit. This has us energized and ready for the next chapter of Covid-19.”

 

 

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