HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – The sport of golf is seeing a significant rise in popularity nationwide, which has continued since the start of the pandemic.
The National Golf Foundation says that more than 3 million people golfed for the first time in the last two years. That is the highest number since 2000, when the number was at 2.4 million, this was at the same time that Tiger Woods was at the peak of his career.
More and more people began picking up the sport at the beginning of the pandemic as they were looking for a safe way to get outside and have fun while remaining socially distanced. It appears that the trend has continued and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
“Our memberships have grown,” Stephen Gerhart who works at Scotch Valley County Club in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania said. “The number of outings have grown. Participation levels have grown. Pre-pandemic things were starting to slow down but once the pandemic hit and and things were lifted people found that they could return to the golf course in a safe way.”
But the surge hasn’t come without a challenge as prices for almost everything sold in pro-shops and needed to maintain the courses have increased significantly. Randy Roland, the manager at Sylvan Hills Golf Course in Hollidaysburg says that it’s things that people wouldn’t expect that have gone up most.
“Fertilizer costs are way up,” Roland said. “The fuel costs are way up. Even with our help. We got a great workforce here, it’s hard to get a good workforce but we got a great group that has stuck with us.”
“Shirts and all of our accessories, and along with the demand issue right now. You may order something and it may be two months before you can get it in,” Gerhart says.
Both courses still say that players have been willing to wait and pay a little more to continue playing the game.
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“Golfers aren’t afraid to spend money on equipment and apparel. It’s holding its own. It really is,” says Roland.