2020 British Columbia Report on Golf Participation
By Jim Lee
The 2020 British Columbia Report on Golf Participation uses Vividata research data comparable to that used in the previous reports (since 2016) and continues a series of Reports prepared over the past 7 years. The data source is regarded as the best available at a reasonable cost, without going to custom research. In addition to BC data, data is available for other provinces, national data and for other sports and activities as well as different consumer behaviors and personal values.
The 2020 season will be remembered for the impact of the pandemic on families, the economy and health care, as well as on the golf industry. Fear of the unknown, government warnings and lockdowns starting in the early spring of 2020 had an early impact on the golf industry. While participation in golf as an outdoor sport was identified as being healthy and safe, it took until early summer for courses to see normal, and in some cases, daily full rounds.
In 2020, the BC golf market declined from both 2018 and 2019, both of which were very successful years for the BC golf industry. However, 2020 was a better year in the golf industry than the average of the past 10 years. Based on 2020 data there was a 14.7% rate of participation in golf producing 646,000 BC golfers. The trend line for the BC golf market remains positive, potentially reaching approximately 800,000 in 2023. As shown in the chart below, there is a considerable variance on a year-to-year basis.
Information is provided on the potential size of the BC golf market in the year 2030. There are two significant implications for the golf market of 2030 providing current participation rates remain the same. The first is the large number of golfers in the 30 – 49 age segments. This bodes well for the long-term sustainability of the golf industry. The other impact is the larger number of older golfers 65+ years of age – an increase of 30% over 2019. This represents the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age.
BC golfers tend to have higher levels of education and income than the overall BC population, as has been shown in previous reports. Core Golfers who play more than 10 times per year generally have higher incomes as well, but are also most likely to be seniors over the age of 65. One important factor distinguishing Core Golfers is that they are likely in households without children living at home.
The complete Participation Report for 2020 will be available at a later date.
file photo/image taken prior to Covid-19