More architects see COVID impacts accelerating capital project decision making; 
facilities address staffing issues 

BROOKFIELD, Wisconsin – The upswing in all areas of the golf industry since June 2020 is impacting facility decision making, from architects leading Master Planning and course renovations to facility owners and operators adjusting to attract and maintain staff. Those are the top-line results of the latest “Golf Facility Market Trend Watch” report, commissioned by the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and conducted by Sports & Leisure Research Group (SLRG). 

Results are being shared publicly for the first time at the 2022 PGA Show and 2022 GCSAA Conference & Trade Show.

The online study, conducted and analyzed in late 2021, was distributed to more than 35,000 people, including ASGCA members, and subscribers to “By Design” and “Golf Course Industry” magazines. Respondents included golf course architects, superintendents, general managers, facility owners/operators, golf professionals and industry leaders.

The complete Market Trend Watch results may be found at

Architects busy, optimistic

“The impact COVID-19 has had on golf compared to other industries has been extraordinary,” said Jon Last, SLRG founder and president. “Last year’s Trend Watch indicated facilities displayed moderate enthusiasm in moving forward on capital projects, while this time more than twice as many respondents see facilities accelerating timetables for these improvements.”

More than 80 percent of ASGCA members have worked on a Master Planning project in the past two years, practice area improvements and green complex renovations are also prevalent projects. Architects have also never been more optimistic about expected renovation work. Nearly 90 percent expect their work volume to maintain current levels or grow in the next two years, with more than 50 percent anticipating a significant increase. 

Labor pressures persist

This year, the Market Trend Watch also took a deeper dive into facility maintenance staffing. More than 80 percent of public and private facilities have raised the minimum hourly wage for staff members since 2020, with 42 percent of private clubs and 20 percent of public facilities now paying at least $15/hour. At the same time, two-thirds of facilities report significant drops in the number of applicants for job openings.

ASGCA Background

Founded in 1946 by Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones and 12 other leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout North America. ASGCA members are able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling and comprise many of the great talents throughout the golf industry.

For more information about ASGCA, including a current list of members, visit

Sports & Leisure Research Group Background

For the past 15 years, Sports & Leisure Research Group has played a pivotal role in providing marketing professionals with the most extensive customized research and consulting services available. The principals of the firm are each former national presidents of the U.S. Marketing Research Association (MRA), coupling an acute understanding of the sports, travel, and leisure markets with a classical marketing research background approach to combine market insights with actionable strategies.

The firm’s expertise allows its clients to take a more creative and strategic approach to advertising research, brand optimization and ROI assessment, product development testing, target market analysis and sales support research. SLRG offers capabilities including focus groups, online surveys, and one-on-one interviews. 

SLRG clients include leading brands and retailers in the sporting goods industry, professional leagues, and governing bodies, as well as global agencies brands and media that focus on and activate around professional sports.




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