Golfers Reflect on 2020 and Get Set for 2021
In our most recent survey, completed in December 2020 by over 700 avid golfers, we asked golfers to reflect on their golf in 2020 and also what they were planning to do in 2021.
Given the surge we saw in 2020 to play golf and unprecedented boom it came as no surprise to hear that 43% of the golfers surveyed had played more in 2020 compared to 2019, 23% the same and only 34% stating they had played less. When it came to practising the numbers slightly differed with 30% practising more during 2020, 26% the same and 37% practising less - 8% of respondents stated then never actually practise.
With the introduction of the WHS (World Handicap System) golfers seemed to fair well from this with 55% seeing a handicap drop in 2020, 23% staying the same and only 22% seeing their handicap going up during the year.
Whilst the year may not have been what we had planned, golfers still found the time to make memorable experiences. The survey highlighted the importance of golf with many stating that their most memorably experiences were simply getting back out playing after lockdown or meeting up with friends once again to play golf. We also asked a few of the Golfshake members what golf in 2020 meant to them and spoke to 2 of our most avid golfers.
Clive O, a member at Longhirst Golf Club, didn't start playing until 3 years ago but absolutely loves the game and has been bitten by the bug recording over 160 rounds on Golfshake in 2020. Clive commented below on his 2020 season and the importance of golf in relation to physical and mental well being:
"I play the majority of my golf along the rugged Northumberland coast where many fabulous courses are located. I’m a member at Longhirst Golf Club in Northumberland where there are two courses to choose from (Dawson and The Lakes), therefore availability is rarely an issue. Both are challenging but give both novices and experienced golfers an opportunity and a test at the same time.
I find golf a great way to stay physically and mentally fit. Playing a round with family members, friends or even strangers allows you to forget the challenging year we’ve all had, even if only for a few hours. No matter what score I end up with, I’m always looking forward to the next round. Chatting to the friendly staff at the clubhouse at check in and then the greenkeepers and rangers out on the course brings a different perspective to the amount of work they do to enhance our enjoyment. Once finished it's off to see the staff in the clubhouse for a celebratory or commissary drink and to discuss our rounds with everyone.
For me golf isn’t just the playing of the 18 holes, its the whole experience of the day, with my competitive nature urging me to do better with each shot and round."
We also heard from Paul W or similarly played over 160 rounds of golf in 2020:
"Put simply, Golf has saved my sanity this year. Spent at least a couple of months this year going on long local walks and, whilst being decent exercise, without bashing that little ball as well it just doesn't cut the mustard for me. (I'm retired, so no work to distract me from the doom and gloom.)
Managed to play very regularly at my home course, Pedham Place in Kent, where they've been brilliantly organised at getting the courses ready and keeping them open within the restrictions and in all weathers. Also managed to get out on a few other courses through Society contacts and friends, including a superb four day trip to play at Belton Woods and Forest of Arden through Golf Breaks. All without breaking any tier or lockdown rules.
Just needs an understanding that things are / have been and will be different until we can at least subdue the spread of the virus. The vast majority of golfers I've met this year get that and have been more patient and understanding than ever. Just grateful that we've been able to get out there."
Despite the uncertain times, the survey highlighted the continued optimism from golfers and when asked - Where are you most looking forward to playing in 2021 the following responses were plenty; a covid restriction free 19th hole on any golf course, abroad, anywhere, COVID free golf. It was also clearly evident that golfers couldn't wait to get back to going on golf breaks and playing golf overseas again.
Once things do return to some level of normal and warmer weather, hopefully golf will continue to boom and if our data is anything to go on then it certainly looks that way. This was further evident with 75% of survey respondents hoping to play more golf in 2021 with only 3% stating they planned to play less. If you thought golf courses were busy in 2020 get set for 2021! But hoepfully we will all be back in four balls and with less restrictions in place to allow us to enjoy everything that we love about golf and the experience of participating in this great game.
What are you planning to do? have you made any plans yet or simply looking to play golf and enjoy golf more? Whatever you do have planned then let us know in the comments below.
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