Over the past couple of years, the golf industry experienced a revival. In 2021 specifically, 25.1 million people played on a golf course. While many will say the pandemic is one of the reasons people sought out the sport, there has been a growing number of trends also contributing to this resurgence. Some of these trends include more affordable course fees and the development of off-course golf activities, like golf simulators. But what can we expect this year?
Here are five golf industry trends in 2023:
- Casual clothing on the course. Many country clubs are becoming less strict with their course dress codes. You can expect to see more athleisure at the club, including joggers and hoodies. Aside from streetwear making its way onto the greens, you’ll also find clothes that can double as office wear and even specially designed clothing to help improve neck and spine alignment.
- More women and younger golfers. In 2021, women golfers increased to almost 6.2 million. Just last year, a golf resort in Pinehurst noticed an uptick in female golfers, both individually and in groups, as well as younger golfers. More courses are offering events tailored to women to get them more involved with the sport, and the younger generation of athletes on the PGA tour serve as an inspiration for more millennials and Gen Zs to hit the links.
- Use of technology. Like many other industries, the use of technology is becoming more prominent in golf. There are special programs that can use GPS to measure the distance from the ball to the hole and programs that can analyze a golfer’s swing to correct any errors. Even if a golfer doesn’t want to invest in the latest tech-driven software or clubs, they can simply use their phones to track their yardage — a welcome advantage!
- Listening to music. Typically, when you’re on a golf course, you expect quiet. Now, more and more golfers are bringing small Bluetooth speakers to listen to music while they play. If this sounds like something you’d be into, remember to stay respectful with your music choices and volume to avoid disturbing others. Even better — some speakers can also provide a golfer’s yardage through Bluetooth when connected to a phone with tracking capabilities.
- Shorter rounds. Time is of the essence. Many people once avoided playing golf because of the time it takes to play a complete game. With more people searching for opportunities to squeeze in a round between work, family, and other social responsibilities, shorter rounds and courses are becoming more common. Expect to see more golfers playing 9-rounds and the design of 6 and 9-hole courses since they’ll allow people to get on — and off — the course quicker.
Whether you’re an avid golfer or considering getting into the sport, 2023 is the year to step up your game. With the advancements in technology, a more lax dress code, and the availability of shorter rounds, golf is becoming even friendlier for recreational players and more accessible for veterans. Though you probably don’t need an excuse to head out to the links, now is the perfect time to take advantage of these trends!