The National Golf Foundation reported that the overall golfer base has become more diverse as participation levels increased over the past several years. Some of the most notable U.S. gains were among females and people of color. But the largest participation increases over the past three years, since the start of the pandemic, came from the junior ranks, according to NGF.

The net gain of almost one million junior players ages 6-to-17 is the most significant of any on-course participation segment. At just over 3.4 million, the youth golfer segment is at its highest level since 2006.

Juniors account for about 13 percent of the on-course golfer population. That representation is more significant away from the course, with more than one-quarter of off-course golf participants under 18. It’s hard to downplay venues like Topgolf’s role in encouraging interest and on-course trials among youth players. 

And while female on-course representation is at an all-time high, at one-quarter of all golfers, it’s higher in the junior ranks. More than 36 percent of junior players are girls. And it’s notable that another five million-plus kids who are non-golfers shared that they are very interested in playing golf.

NGF members can access more information on various segments in NGF’s Annual Golf Participation in the U.S. Report.

Illustration courtesy NGF