Study on millennials finds cost, family weigh on golf decisions

A new report shows that millennials considering joining a private golf-based country club are most influenced by cost and family considerations.

Continuing their three-year research study into attitudes toward golf among young adults, Global Golf Advisors and Nextgengolf released their latest report – which is based on surveys of more than 1,400 millennial golfers in 2017 and 2018.

Among the findings was that the primary event that drives joining a private club for the first time is a new job or promotion that provides a higher level of discretionary leisure money. Young adults are also more likely to consider those clubs that have amenities or programs for their spouse and/or children.

Also, more than three-quarters of those surveyed look for a club that has a fitness program, and nearly two-thirds want a club with a pool.

Those millennials who golf regularly on public courses but have not joined a private club cite dues and initiation fees as the primary reason they have not considered joining — with more than three-quarters citing these two reasons. The next three most-cited reasons were uncertain costs, not knowing anyone at the club, and never having been invited — all at about 25 percent.

The study skews male — 95 percent to 5 percent. The average age of respondents was 26.

While this study only surveyed millennials who already golf, independent golf industry analysis firm Pellucid found that overall participation in golf by young adults (18-34) dropped by 2 percent last year. Pellucid head Jim Koppenhaver wrote that this should be a “cause for concern” for the future.

Nextgengolf is a player development company dedicated to growing the game of golf. It was acquired by PGA of America earlier this year. Global Golf Advisors is a private consulting firm.

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