Source: NGF Core Golfer Survey
Golf’s supply and demand balance undoubtedly hangs in favor of the golfer.
Since the ratio of golfers to courses has declined over the past 20+ years, the competitive environment is allowing today’s players to secure unprecedented values in terms of the quality of golf they can get for their money. Furthermore, since it’s a buyer’s market, it’s clear that golfers have been working successfully to pro-actively reduce their costs-per-round further.
In a recent survey of NGF’s Core golfer panel, we asked if they are intentionally seeking to reduce their cost per round and if so, how?
The various ways golfers are reducing their costs were not as surprising as the small percentage who reported not doing it. Only 17% of the national sample indicated they were doing “none of these things.”
So, in what ways are 83% of Core golfer managing their costs per round? Well, 45% are seeking to play during off-peak times that are less expensive, 44% are redeeming coupons for greens fees or food discounts and 43% are using an on-line tee time booking system with the objective of finding discounted rates. Interestingly, nearly one quarter (24%) of golfers surveyed have used deals from Groupon or other similar sources like Living Social, Amazon, etc.
As the supply and demand balance gets closer to equilibrium (which net closure of golf courses and growth of players/rounds will accelerate), owners and operators will regain more of their control over pricing.