This time last year all golf facilities were closed and facing an uncertain future, as we underwent a hard lockdown in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite losing a total of 77 days of golf due to the lockdown, the sport rallied to record some impressive numbers on the HNA Handicap System in 2020. This month we take a look at some of the most interesting statistics drawn from rounds registered on the system.
Last year, we saw a total of 3 476 470 rounds registered on the system. While this is down from the 3 910 151 rounds in 2019, it translates into an increase of 12,7% when adjusted for the 77 lost days.
On average, 12 071 rounds were registered each day that courses were open in 2020 – significantly up from 10 712 per day in 2019.
The number of golfers registered on our system increased by 1,8% in 2020 to a total of 142 281. This number includes golfers from across the continent, including Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Of the 3 476 470 scores entered on the handicap system in 2020, 321 445 (9,2%) were submitted using the hole-by-hole technique, while a total of 336 473 (9.7%) nine-hole scores were submitted in 2020.
The average Handicap Index for male golfers is 13.4; for women, it is 20.0.
It is wonderful to note that the number of junior golfers in the country has jumped from 4,6% of all golfers to 5,7% – perhaps due to the closure of team sports due to COVID-19. The key is to ensure that we retain these young golfers once other sports open up.
Despite the loss of 77 golfing days, 22 eager golfers still managed to record over 200 rounds in 2020, compared with 79 in 2019. An impressive tally of 59 596 golfers played at least 20 rounds in the year – an average of twice per month.
Usage of the popular HNA Handicaps & Tournament App has once again increased, this time by 7%. The App provides not only a platform for players to enter scores and check their Handicap Indexes, but also to run their own public and private tournaments. Premium users of the App are able to also track their statistics, follow the handicaps of friends and access their national and club rankings. The Premium version of the App costs R199.99 per year and is available in iOS and Android.
Over the course of 2020, the HNA website www.handicaps.co.za received over two million impressions. Once again the figure was affected by the lockdown during the early part of the year, with an impressive 64% of these impressions recorded in the final quarter (October – December 2020).
Whereas March was the busiest month in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic shuffled things up in 2020, where December saw the most scores entered on the system. Incredibly, December 2020 saw some 404 370 scores entered, the most we have ever recorded. Other busy months included October (383 458 scores) and August (377 956).
Just three clubs recorded more than 40 000 rounds in 2020, compared to the seven clubs that achieved this in 2019. As is usually the case, the list of busiest golf clubs is dominated by 36-hole or 27-hole facilities, with Country Club Johannesburg topping the standing at 59 201 rounds registered, followed by Randpark (52 885) and Mount Edgecombe (43 906).
Stellenbosch (37 159) narrowly edged last year’s busiest club, Westlake (37 108), when it comes to 18-hole facilities. Wingate Park, Durbanville and Clovelly are the next busiest 18-holers on our list of registered rounds.
The busiest clubs per region are as follows:
Boland: Hermanus GC
Border: East London GC
Central Gauteng: Country Club Johannesburg
Eastern Province: Port Elizabeth GC
Ekurhuleni: Reading CC
Free State: Maccauvlei
Gauteng North: Wingate Park
KwaZulu-Natal: Mount Edgecombe
Limpopo: Polokwane GC
Mpumalanga: Mbombela GC
North West: Pecanwood
Northern Cape: Kimberley GC
Southern Cape: George GC
Western Province: Westlake GC
Botswana: Gaborone GC
Democratic Republic of Congo: Kinshasa GC
Malawi: Lilongwe GC
Mozambique: Clube de Golfe da Beira
Namibia: Windhoek G&CC
Eswatini: Nkonyeni GE
Tanzania: Lugalo GC
Zambia: Lusaka GC
Zimbabwe: Royal Harare GC
Note: these figures are only for rounds that are registered on the HNA system.
Quote of the Month
“The golf swing is like a suitcase into which we are trying to pack one too many things.” – John Updike.