KemperSports survey reports 33% of new golfers are women

New data from Charting the Course: The KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey, which queried 24,774 current, lapsed and new golfers, revealed that the new golfer social, younger and female with almost 27% of new golfers representing the 18-34 age group. And in that group, women represent almost 33% of new golfers surveyed, compared to the industry average of 24%. And nearly half of new players are looking more for comfortable, social environments rather than keeping and improving their scores.

“There’s no doubt that the pandemic reshaped the game of golf in many ways,” said Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports. “We saw increased play and participation from people of all ages and walks of life, including many beginners and lapsed golfers who returned to the game. This survey data is an important tool to help us keep customers engaged and carry this momentum into the future. It allows us to tap into the changing needs and demands of the new player to deliver experiences that better serve our customers, members and guests.”

The survey was conducted online by KemperSports in March.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  1. Once they played, they couldn’t stay away. Almost 60% of respondents played more than 25 rounds last year, including one-third of new golfers! And, about 30% of all respondents played between eight and 24 rounds. This means that more than half of surveyed golfers played more rounds than the industry average.
  1. 2021 intent to play is even higher than 2020. The majority of new golfers (58%) came to the game because of the pandemic. But, they plan to play even more golf in 2021 and intend to play just as much golf in the future as current golfers play, if they feel comfortable and confident. For the new golfer, 30% of those surveyed are more likely to come back if they can get instruction and social events. 
  1. “Fun” will keep new players coming back for more. The fun factor is important to new golfers, with more than 40% saying fun events or activities combined with golf would motivate them to play more rounds in 2021. And lastly, scores aren’t everything. Only about 12% of new golfers said no improvement/lower scores would be a barrier to playing more in 2021.

“These findings point to an optimistic outlook for the game of golf,” Skinner said. “Now it’s on us, golf course operators, to ensure that we are delivering a welcoming, inclusive experience that golfers are so clearly craving. Even when the pandemic subsides, golf courses, clubs and resorts can still be a universal gathering space for people to make connections and have fun.”

This year, KemperSports launched its new All Welcome initiative designed to attract, welcome and retain new and diverse golfers at its properties. The playbook provides KemperSports’ clients and locations with research insights, property assessments, communication toolkits and event programming that invites new players to enjoy the game their way and helps them feel more welcome once they arrive.


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