One survey shows that social media, e-payments and mobile apps have kept the fire burning, and the regional golf courses afloat.

According to a survey of 10,480 golfers across Indonesia (369), India (274), Japan (2,809), Korea (5,115), Malaysia (1,390), the Philippines (184), Singapore (511), Taiwan (218), Thailand (330) in Q3 this year, the usage of technology has helped them to overcome difficulties in organizing group games and booking courses economically amid lockdowns and other pandemic-related challenges.

Golf courses are also increasingly employing the usage of e-payment technology and mobile apps to facilitate golfing fans who may have been reluctant to use digital payments or online booking solutions in the past.

Other findings include:

  • 71% of golfers in the survey indicated that due to the pandemic, they were likely to play with people whom they do not know personally if their regular golfing friends were not available.
  • About one-third of respondents believed that they would use the clubhouse differently, and over a quarter of them indicated that that the types of group they play in would be different, due to the use of mobile apps to widen their circle of golfing contacts.
  • 67% of Asia respondents aimed to golf on a golf course (67%) and driving range (53%) after the pandemic is over, presumably to make up for lost time, with 51% of respondents indicating they would spend more on the activity in six months to a year (circumstances permitting).
  • 63 % of Malaysian Golfers surveyed were “going crazy” while waiting for golf courses to open up again. Also more than half of Malaysian golfers surveyed indicated they would encourage someone else they know to play golf over the next 12 months, likely to be their son, spouse/partner or daughter.

According to David Wong, CEO and co-founder of the Deemples, which commissioned the survey: “September 2021 was the first full month of activity for Deemples after a four-month lockdown, which saw them reach almost 90% gross merchandise value of their best month. This also included a 17% increase in ticket size per transaction on the app. Though a small sample size, the quick rebound highlights an active and eager market of golfers in the country.”

The survey data apparently mirrors global statistics showing golf participation increasing during the pandemic, linked to the pent-up cravings for resuming the game and also digital transformation that has facilitated easier networking and booking of facilities amid pandemic restrictions.