Are you still in the early stages of mastering your swing or already an expert at your craft? Whatever the case, there is one thing that remains the same between golfing enthusiasts amid the pandemic—the sport isn’t going anywhere.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic acting as a significant setback for global tourism, local Georgian putters and foreign visitors alike are still witnessing a surprising boom within the industry. As curfew lifts for vaccinated citizens, Georgia expects its golfing sector to continue to thrive in 2021.
Golf Before the Pandemic
Contrary to appearances, golf experienced a worldwide dip in popularity pre-pandemic. The drop occurred particularly among millennials, who deemed the sport too expensive, time-consuming, and lacking health benefits.
The hit proved challenging for Georgia’s tourism industry, which is relatively young, blossoming only in the late 1990s. Now an attractive destination for business investors worldwide, Georgia managed to stay afloat—and even thrive—during the pandemic.
The Resurgence of Golf
Because of social distancing measures and restrictions, outdoor, solitary Georgia sports grew in popularity during the pandemic. Limited only to certain activities, the naturally socially distant sport allowed Georgia’s long-term tourism potential to remain strong.
Not only is the industry seeing a spike in rounds played, but it’s also experiencing a rise in equipment sales. Since 2020, brands such as Puma have increased golf product sales by nearly 30%.
According to Golf Datatech, sales hit an all-time high of $388.6 million in July of 2020. Online channels, in particular, are experiencing the most significant demand. Surprisingly, the global golf industry hadn’t seen a spike in sales as impressive since 1997, when Tiger Woods became an international success.
Where is Golf in Georgia Headed in 2021?
Despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, major sporting projects in Georgia, such as the construction of its state-of-the-art, 10,000-seater facility, are not taking a backseat. Thus, golf enthusiasts can expect previously shut-down clubs and resorts to reopen.
However, Georgian golfers should just as much expect changes in putting policies and culture.
Better Exercise Opportunities
As outdoor exercise opportunities remain scarce due to lockdown measures, many golfers take advantage of the walk between holes to keep in shape. In fact, an 18-hole walk is equivalent to 5-miles—better exercise than you’d achieve taking a jog around the block.
As work from home setups among once 9-to-5 jobs persist, many golfers are finding more pockets of time to sneak in a game in the middle of the day. However, many are opting out of four-hour 18-holers in favor of shorter, less-exposed 9-holers.
Instead of registering at a dedicated table, players can now use no-contact systems to pre-pay bookings, simply showing up to the course ready to play. It’s safe to say this new technology is something golfers hope will stick around even after restrictions lift.
The Bottom Line
Despite the blowback of the pandemic, Georgia’s sporting industry remains impressively resilient. If you’ve been indulging in golf workouts to improve your game, rest assured you’ll have a lot of room to test your skills.
As pre-registration for the vaccine continues across Georgia, enthusiasts and athletes can gradually return to sports outside of golf.