Study: Golfers maintain upbeat attitude in troubled times

Sports and Leisure Research Group’s latest findings show golfers are a bullish lot when it comes to living, playing in periods of unrest

Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of articles that look at trends within the golf industry.

If there is one persistent theme throughout the 13 twice-monthly waves of our Back to Normal Barometer research with active leisure and travel participants, it’s that we continue to be a nation on edge — and, in many ways, a nation divided.

From a person’s willingness to re-engage in various activities to fears and concerns about the economy, public health, civil unrest, and the upcoming elections, Sports and Leisure Research Group’s data show a true bifurcation of opinion and perception that is directly impacting consumer behavior.

As Sports and Leisure Research Group has reported previously, golfers have re-engaged with the sport in record numbers, while others have started to discover or rediscover the game as a safe and attractive alternative in the absence of other favorite activities. A closer look at our data also has reinforced a theme that was first uncovered after 9/11. Golfers’ greater resiliency, relatively heightened optimism and glass-half-full attitude have important implications for those marketing and seeking to connect with golfing consumers.

Sports and Leisure Research Group — Slide 6

(Graph: Sports and Leisure Research Group)

The Barometer findings in the accompanying chart vividly illustrate this picture of greater bullishness when compared with population figures. While the majority of Americans have their guard up for continued COVID-19 outbreaks that will cause disruptions this fall, that wariness is significantly less pronounced among golfers. Similarly, a majority of golfers share a brighter outlook on their collective futures as well as for the future of our country, in contrast to the national population.

Perhaps most compelling among this set of findings is that golfers are 26 percent more likely than Americans in total to seek out a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. This can-do, aspirational mindset distinguishes golfers and can inform the messaging and tonality with which the game is promoted.