One-Time Thing or Lasting Change? Experts Discuss Making the Most of Golf’s Resurgence

While unfortunate, COVID-19 has led to record numbers for golf this year. But where does the sport go from here?

By Anthony Cotton

By now, everyone knows the boom golf has experienced in 2020, in large part because of its juxtaposition versus the novel coronavirus. One of the first sports made available at the outset of the pandemic—and one of the most social-distancing-friendly activities going—tee sheets in Colorado and around the country have been virtually full for almost six months.And the interest has extended beyond the course as well: according to Golf Datatech, a market research firm that monitors, sales trends in the sport, retail golf equipment sales for the third quarter of 2020 surpassed the $1 billion mark—the first-time sales in July, August and September have ever exceeded $1 billion and the second highest quarter of all time (In the second quarter of 2008, sales equalled $1.013 billion).

The question is: What happens next? How does the game capitalize on golf’s reemergence? Recently, the National Golf Foundation, which calls itself “the world’s largest research team dedicated to golf,” asked those very questions to a group of well-respected thinkers in the game. The list included the legendary Annika Sorenstam, Mike Davis of the USGA—and Joe Assell, the co-founder and CEO of GOLFTEC, the Colorado-based instruction and equipment giant.

Here are their thoughts:


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