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 $2.5 million and employs about 33 workers.

    • Around 9,100 courses generate revenue of $23 billion and employ 300,000 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 2022.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Golf Courses & Country Clubs Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Feb 16, 2024 - Producer Prices, Employment Costs Up
                                  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), producer prices for golf courses and country clubs remained stable for most of 2023 but increased in the fourth quarter. The industry has seen a 25% rise in producer prices since 2019. Employment levels in the industry grew 7.5% since the pre-pandemic period, following a pandemic decline of 12.5% in 2020, per the BLS. Employment levels were unchanged from December 2022 to December 2023. The BLS also reported that wages for golf courses and country clubs increased by 2.4% in December 2023 compared to a year ago and by 21.3% from 2019.
                                  • The 2024 Participation Report from the National Golf Foundation shows that golf’s consumer base is trending younger and more diverse. The report examined three primary participation groups: on-course only (12.1 million in 2023), off-course only (18.5 million), and those who participate in both categories (14.5 million). The number of golfers who play on the course has been growing for six years. The number of women and girls playing golf on a course has risen nearly a quarter since 2018, while the number of Asian, Black, and Hispanic golfers has climbed over 43%. Furthermore, the number of juniors participating on a course has also increased 40% since 2018.
                                  • National rounds of golf were up 8% in November compared to a year ago, marking the second biggest increase of any month to date in 2023, according to data from the Golf Datatech and National Golf Foundation. Typically, November’s rounds are tied to golf-friendly weather and seasonality. Only May had a higher year-over-year increase of 10%. Rounds year-to-date were up 3.6% compared to the same period a year ago, which puts 2023 on track to be one of the top years for rounds in US history. Play in the South Central, West North Central, and Mountain regions was up 16.7%, 29%, and 15.9%, year over year. The Pacific and South Atlantic regions were up about 8.2%% and 5.8%, respectively, while New England declined 15.1% in rounds year over year.
                                  • Consumer confidence levels rose in January 2024 for the third month in a row, following three consecutive months of declines, according to data from The Conference Board. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased to 114.8 in January 2024 from 108 in December 2023. According to Dana Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board, “January’s increase in consumer confidence likely reflected slower inflation, anticipation of lower interest rates ahead, and generally favorable employment conditions as companies continue to hoard labor.” Peterson added that the gains in consumer confidence were largest in householders aged over 55. Plans to purchase homes, autos, and large appliances declined slightly on a monthly and six-month basis.
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