Golf Courses & Country Clubs

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 9,100 golf courses and country clubs in the US can be broadly classified as public, private, or semi-private facilities. Golf courses typically offer only golf, and related golf services or products, while country clubs usually offer more extensive recreational activities, such as swimming and tennis. Country clubs also tend to be more private facilities, and usually offer more social services, such as a full service restaurant, formal dining room, and banquet/meeting facilities.

Environmental And Government Regulation

Golf courses and country clubs are heavily dependent on fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers to control insects, turf diseases, and to keep the various grasses green and in tip-top playing condition.

Ownership Of Multiple Courses

With so many golf courses across the nation struggling to survive, some opportunistic investors are finding success in acquiring and operating multiple courses in one geographical area as a way to pool resources, reduce maintenance costs, and market attractive combined playing options.

Industry size & Structure

An average golf course generates annual revenue of about $3.5 million and employs about 45 workers.

    • Around 9,100 courses generate revenue of $31.5 billion and employ 407,000 people.
    • The golf courses and country clubs industry is highly fragmented with the 50 largest firms representing just 18.5% of revenue.
    • About 12% of courses closed between 2006 and 2023.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Golf Courses & Country Clubs Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Jun 11, 2024 - Rising Women’s Golf Participation
                                  • The number of women and girls who played golf on a course reached 7 million in 2023, the highest participation level since 2006, which was a record high, according to a report by the National Golf Foundation. Female golfers now account for 26% of the on-course golfer population, an increase from 20% in 2011 and the highest proportion on record. The growth in female participation had been gradual before accelerating during the post-pandemic period, per the report. Off-course golf is also seeing growth in female participation. The proportion of female participants is 42% among those who only play off-course golf, at venues like Topgolf or indoor simulator facilities. The report noted that females account for over one-third of "latent demand," non-golfers interested in trying traditional on-course golf.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels increased in May 2024 following three consecutive months of declines, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index was 102 in May 2024 from 97.5 in April 2024. Dana Peterson, chief economist at The Conference Board, noted that confidence improved among consumers of all age groups, and those in the income category of over $100,000 had the largest rise in confidence. Plans for auto and large appliance purchases rose on a six-month basis.
                                  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) monthly jobs report shows that unfilled job openings were up in May 2024, with a seasonally adjusted 42% of business owners reporting jobs they could not fill. The reading is up two points from April 2024. A seasonally adjusted net 15% of small business owners plan to create new jobs over the next three months, up three points since April. About 20% of owners reported labor quality as the most important problem facing the business. According to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, “An exceptionally high number of small businesses are still struggling to fill open positions. Although plans to increase compensation have fallen, small firms continue in their efforts to attract and retain workers.”
                                  • The US golf course and country club industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% between 2024 and 2028, according to a forecast from Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. The expected growth rate is faster than the overall economy's projected growth. The report noted that consumer confidence levels have improved, which bodes well for the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries. Additionally, consumer sentiment has seen a degree of improvement following sustained lower levels. As noted in the report, many older workers retired in recent years rather than endure pandemic-era employment challenges. The retirement population is expected to continue to rise rapidly as the Baby Boom generation retires. Per the forecast, "Greater opportunity for leisure for this large and growing segment of the population could drive demand for many arts, entertainment, and various recreational activities, particularly those that serve older people."
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