April 04, 2017

CNBC: Golf is Enjoying a Comeback, Thanks in Part to Nongolfers

By Jessica Golden and Dominic Chu


The Masters Tournament, which begins on Thursday, is the unofficial start to golfing season.

As fans get ready for the game's biggest event, golfers are finding that the most promising prospects are happening off the fairways, and with novices.

Companies like Topgolf and the PGA Tour Superstore are the beneficiaries of this trend. These types of outlets are attempting to introduce golf as entertainment to both first-timers and veteran golfers without using traditional golf courses, and it appears to be paying off.

"People are engaging in the game in different ways," said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. According to Mona, more than 4 million people experienced golf through a driving range or simulator last year.

In various ways, the changing nature of golf — considered both a sport and a leisure activity — is paying dividends for some big brands. Developing a relationship with golfing in the context of food, beverage and entertainment is getting people to take a swing at the real thing, according to Mona.

"People are experiencing golf in different ways but coming back to the traditional game," he said.


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