The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 2

GOLF INDUSTRY
HEALTH

NGF 2017 industry report released:
facts served "sunnyside up"
By Jim Koppenhaver

A

s a card-carrying member of the NGF, I received my copy
of their new and improved Golf Industry report this past
Friday afternoon. This is later in the year than they've
traditionally issued their annual missive but I had heard it previously rumored that they wanted to release it as part of their annual industry forum which was held in Dallas this year the first
week in May. It was a mix of the expected storylines and a few
surprises but, on the whole, it didn't disappoint in providing the
Chamber of Commerce view of the industry consistent with the
NGF's mission of being the industry cheerleader.
As a fellow-researcher, I'll hit a couple of the highlights of the
report and outline where the NGF's facts and interpretations differ from Pellucid's previously-released State of the Industry back
in January. Respecting NGF's research investment and business
model, if you want a full copy of the report you'll need to either
order it or become a member which you can do here.
As I had foreshadowed multiple times in the first five months
of this year, the "pivot" in the annual NGF report is to highlight
the growing presence of what I called virtual golfers and which
they've now officially named "Off-Course Only Participants" and

representing this as growth in the golfer base. This is the collection of individuals who either were range-exclusives or played
TopGolf or simulator golf once in 2017 which NGF pegs at ~8M
and "continues to climb incrementally." (They do however exclude
the Golden Tee video game golfers and mini-golf, go figure) The
sub-headline is that the traditional golfer base held steady around
24M, which is trend-wise consistent with Pellucid's previouslyreported findings (i.e. the decline in the golfer base was <2% '17
vs. '16) but they're still tracking to roughly 3M more participants
than we are. The storyline they're attempting to paint in the
'17 industry assessment is that participation is growing, just in
a different direction (i.e. more virtual, less traditional golf ) and
suggesting that industry health shouldn't necessarily be equated
with participation growth/decline. (This from the folks who gave
full-throated support to the Golf 20/20 goal of growing participation to 55M by 2020). Given that a sizeable number of NGF
members are course owner/operators, I wonder how they feel
about the reassuring fact that TopGolf and virtual golf is where
the growth is in our consumer base and industry?
Another interesting "pivot" is that NGF is no longer measur-

As I had foreshadowed multiple times in the first
five months of this year, the "pivot" in the annual
NGF report is to highlight the growing presence of
what I called virtual golfers and which they've now
officially named "Off-Course Only Participants"
and representing this as growth in the golfer base.

2 The Pellucid PersPecTive

May 2018


http://www.ngf.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018

TOC
NGF 2017 industry report released: facts served “sunnyside up”
Baylands Golf Links a win-win-win proposition times two?
Club manufacturer service frustrates green grass customer
April golf weather impact: A sea of red but March utilization hits 60%
Detroit fortunes looking up; golf market to follow?
It is, after all, all about the money
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - NGF 2017 industry report released: facts served “sunnyside up”
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - Baylands Golf Links a win-win-win proposition times two?
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - Club manufacturer service frustrates green grass customer
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - April golf weather impact: A sea of red but March utilization hits 60%
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - Detroit fortunes looking up; golf market to follow?
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 14
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2018 - It is, after all, all about the money
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