Tuesday, March 16

New York Times: 'The Pandemic Drove People to Tennis and Golf. Will They Keep Playing?'

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MATTHEW FUTTERMAN AND BILL PENNINGTON reported on the boon for tennis and golf during the pandemic in last week's New York Times.

Here's an excerpt that touches on the "different mood about golf":

The growth in participation in golf and tennis is largely being driven by more financially secure people who, in some cases, have the luxury of working from home and the extra time that provides, as well as access to golf courses and tennis courts. But many were younger. There were 3.1 million junior golfers last year, the most ever, with an average age of 12. While new and novice players account for a significant portion of the growth, "new" does not necessarily mean "young."

More than 30 percent of beginning golfers last year were over the age of 40, according to the National Golf Foundation. The players run the gamut, from entire families playing together, women of all ages and lapsed players whose old equipment gives them away. Their arrival during the pandemic compelled golf courses to adopt a faster, more casual and technologically savvy way of operating that many at the top of golf's hierarchy see optimistically as part of an ongoing cultural shift.

"There's now a different mood about golf," Jerramy Hainline, the senior vice president and general manager of Golf Now, an online tee-time service with nearly four million registered golfers that also provides technology to more than 9,000 golf courses, said. "The spirit is changing out there."

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