2020 wasn’t always plain sailing for golfers, with courses having to close for periods, uncertainty around the restrictions – and golfing holidays having to be put on hold.
But there were plenty of positives. The game enjoyed a resurgence in the latter part of the year, and 2020 will surely have made us appreciate the game that little bit more.
Here are 7 reasons to be optimistic about golf this year.
1. A greater appreciation for the game
Even a couple of months away from the course was a difficult pill to swallow for many. When courses reopened in the summer, this created a real buzz and sense of optimism around the future of golf.
Our survey found that 97% of golfers returned to the course following lockdown, with 86% of respondents playing just as regularly – or more – compared to before the pandemic. These stats show that the love for the game is just as strong, if not stronger than it was at the start of last year.
With everything that happened, you’ll probably have come to appreciate the little things that bit more – even the common pitfalls. Whether it’s that sliced drive out of bounds on the first, or the pot bunker that you can never escape, or the pond you always seem to find on the final hole – these are all part of golf’s rich tapestry. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. The golf boom
As we alluded to above, golf experienced a real boom during the summer of 2020, having presented itself as the perfect sport for such unusual times.
Of our summer survey respondents, 52% noticed more visitors on the course over the summer months. Of these respondents, 77% were positive about the change, saying it made them feel optimistic for the future of golf.
What’s more, preliminary figures from Sports Marketing Surveys indicate the number of rounds played during August increased by more than 60 per cent compared with August 2019.
Even when the world returns to normal – or something approaching pre-Covid times – a number of new faces will be hooked on golf, excuse the pun.
3. You’ll be fresh as a daisy
We might be clutching at straws here, but there’s another positive to come from all that golf you missed out on in 2020. You’re going to be fresh and revitalised when the new season gets underway.
All those niggles caused by extra gardening duties during lockdown will have eased. In fact, you’ll be feeling so fit and strong, you won’t have any excuses to fall back on when you throw in a bad round.
4. The swing will be fantastic… hopefully
Over time, you can develop a lot of bad habits. No matter how much effort you put in down the range or on the practice green, you just can’t seem to iron them out.
There’s something to be said about taking a break from the game, even if it is just a couple of weeks. Sometimes a break works wonders.
Whether it’s a duck hook, wild slice, or a case of the unmentionables, these problems can disappear after a little time off. Not always, but sometimes.
So, you might find that you’re a totally different player in 2021. A model swing? Maybe not, but who knows, you might rediscover that miraculous short game.
5. Another Masters is just around the corner
You wait 19 months for a Masters and then two come along at once. Well, not quite, but two trips to Augusta National in the space of five months is worth celebrating.
So, make 5-11 April the first entry in your 2021 golfing diary.
6. It’s a Ryder Cup year
The next entry? 21-26 September.
We’re still crossing our fingers, but there’s a new date for the 43rd Ryder Cup, and we’re optimistic that this time it’ll get the green light.
Along with the 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s – which has been rescheduled to take place from July 15-18 – and the 2021 Solheim Cup at the end of August, it’s a bumper year for televised golf.
Oh yes, and there’s still a chance we might get some Olympic golf, too.
Now might be a good time to order a new armchair.
7. A golfing holiday beckons
If you were planning to travel abroad to play golf or had to cut your holiday short because of the coronavirus, this year gives you a perfect chance to make up for lost time.
With Boris Johnson saying that he expects “tens of millions” of vaccinations to be provided over the next few months, surely it’s only a matter of time before travel restrictions are lifted and you can jet off on a golfing trip later in the year.
Just make sure you’re fully protected with our Worldwide cover if you don’t already have it!
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