What are the learnings of the 2023 KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey?

By: January 30, 2023

KemperSports has just released its 2023 KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey. Roughly 16,000 golfers of varying levels and ages were asked about their motivations to play golf.

Before I would share with you KemperSports‘ findings, let me show you what GGA Partners and The National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) found about Gen Z and Millennials’ attitudes and motivations:

  • Gen Z golfers spend the least on both greens’ fees and extra spending at the course, while Millennials show the most interest in spending the most on green fees.
  • Gen X and Gen Z are playing more golf. Millennials, not so much.
  • Millennials play significantly less golf than Gen X and Gen Z. Interestingly, singles played slightly more golf than partnered respondents, and players who were widowed, separated, or divorced are playing the most golf within the group.
  • Gen Z prefers to golf with family, Millennials with friends, and Gen X with fellow club members.
  • Gen Z is more likely to play with family than Gen X, while Millennials display a tendency to play more with friends than the other two cohorts.
2023 KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey

2023 KemperSports Golf Insights Survey – Findings

In contrast, I found the following in the 2023 KemperSports Golf Insights Survey:

  • People are playing more golf. 89% of respondents said they played the same amount or more golf in 2022 compared to the height of the pandemic, with 78% playing 16 or more rounds in the year. But what is motivating them? For Gen Z (age 16-25), golf presents an ideal setting to destress and disconnect, with 70% saying they play golf to relieve stress and 54% looking to unplug. In older generations, exercising and enjoying the outdoors are the key motivators.
  • Regardless of age or level, players are craving more tech-forward options in all aspects of the game. While the desire to disconnect may be true for some out on the course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t searching for tech that supports or improves their game. 75% of surveyed players said they are interested in a golf cart GPS, while 50% are interested in driving range ball tracking and simulator tech. It’s not just on-course tech-forward enhancements they want – 54% of players are anxious for new ways to search for and book tee times online.
2023 KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey details participation
  • Non-traditional golf formats (including shorter rounds and shorter courses) are rising in popularity, especially among newer players who started playing in the last three years. When asked to envision their ideal year of golf, 85% of new players still want to play the traditional 18-holes for at least half their rounds or more. That said, they do prefer shorter formats for the remaining half, including 9 holes (70%), short courses (47%), and Par 3 courses (44%).
  • Not only is Gen Z here to stay, but they are learning, improving, and playing more than ever. 55% of these younger players say they are hitting the links more after experiencing lower scores and overall improvement in their game. How do we keep them engaged on the greens? The “fun factor” is important to Gen Z, with 81% saying that the social aspect of the sport attracts them to play more. However, social golf opportunities targeted at this generation might be lacking, as 83% currently don’t play in a league, yet 70% say they are interested in social events and leagues.
2023 KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey Gen Z golfers

Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports said

“The fact that 89% of golfers said they played the same amount or more in 2022 compared to the height of the pandemic is truly telling of the state of the golf industry. There’s no denying the game has grown, but it has also changed.

At KemperSports, we are committed to pioneering that continued positive change and using important insights like these to push the envelope at our properties while taking this next generation of interested golfers and converting them into lifelong players.”

2023 KemperSports Golfer Insights Survey details