As we approach the busiest time of the year for golfers, this month we take a look at some interesting statistics and trends that have emerged since golf clubs reopened after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Golf bounces back
With golf clubs having been closed for business for a total of 77 days during the nationwide lockdown, the number of rounds played in 2020 has understandably taken quite a hit. However, in October HNA recorded a record high number of monthly rounds on the handicap system, with no fewer than 383 458 scores being entered. The previous high of 371 667 was recorded back in December 2018.
The number of active golfers has also increased, with a total of 86 285 golfers having submitted scores on the HNA system in October 2020 – a 7,2% increase on the same period last year.
Despite the lengthy lockdown period, there are still 101 keen golfers who have managed to play more than 100 rounds of golf in 2020.
The lockdown did seem to create a fair bit of rustiness in our golfers, though. In June of this year, only 11% of recorded rounds were equal to or better than the player’s Handicap Index, whereas that figure increased to 19% in October of this year.
The average handicaps for men and women have stayed stable over the course of the year. For men, the average Handicap Index is 13.62, while for women it is 20.21.
Once again the clubs with two courses dominate the ‘most rounds’ category, led by Country Club Johannesburg with 35 386 scores entered so far this year. In second place is Randpark, with Mount Edgecombe in third. The 18-hole club with the most scores entered this year is Westlake, ranked fourth on the list.
Fancourt tops the list when it comes to visitor rounds, ahead of Royal Durban. Then follows a long list of Gauteng clubs, including Wingate Park, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, Kyalami, Irene, Glendower, Randpark, Waterkloof, Eagle Canyon, The Els Club, Reading, Ruimsig and Huddle Park. The first Cape course, De Zalze, comes in 15th spot on what is a bunched list.
An interesting trend, perhaps brought about by the closure of clubhouses and players being encouraged to use digital scoring rather than physical scorecards, is the massive increase in scores submitted using the HNA Handicaps & Tournament App. In October 2020, a total of 70 361 golfers used the App to submit 294 782 scores – an increase of 53% from the same period last year.
Quote of the Month
“Missing a short putt does not mean that you have to hit your next drive out of bounds.” – Henry Cotton