Wingding MEDIA™ is deeply involved in creating unique marketing strategies for the golf industry. Having curated one of the largest (if not the largest) libraries of online golf content, our platform is dedicated helping grow the game of golf. The industry is experiencing a significant upturn in rounds played….while seeing a younger demographic come to the course.  We are stressing to our clients to play close attention to the data and adjust marketing strategies to recognize and embrace their new clientele. This article has been written to help guide that process by taking a closer look at the facts.

In recent years, golf has witnessed an unexpected resurgence, particularly among younger players. While the COVID-19 pandemic played a part by nudging people towards outdoor activities that naturally allow for social distancing, there’s another, often overlooked factor contributing to this growth: virtual golf. This article explores how digital and virtual golf experiences have not only introduced the sport to a new generation but could also be the key to its future.

The Rise of Virtual Golf

Virtual golf includes high-tech simulators, virtual reality (VR) setups, and interactive experiences provided by venues like Topgolf and PopStroke. According to the National Golf Association, in 2022, virtual rounds of golf—played from the comfort of one’s home or at high-tech driving ranges—accounted for approximately 52% of all golf rounds. Virtual golf has proven especially appealing to younger demographics, who are drawn to its blend of technology, entertainment, and sport.

Transition from Virtual to Traditional Golf

Interestingly, 75% of beginners who took to traditional golf courses last year had their initial golfing experiences in a virtual setting. This statistic underscores virtual golf’s role as a non-intimidating, accessible introduction to the sport. Virtual platforms offer a low-risk environment to learn and practice, devoid of the traditional barriers to entry like club memberships and equipment costs.

The Demographic Shift in Golf

The demographic landscape of golf is changing. As the traditional golfing population ages, the infusion of youthful players becomes crucial for the sport’s sustainability. Interviews with young golfers reveal that many see virtual golf as a fun and engaging way to get introduced to the sport, often leading them to pursue it on actual greens.

Marketing Strategies for Green Grass Golf

For traditional golf to thrive, it must embrace the digital realm. Golf courses and clubs are encouraged to partner with virtual platforms or even invest in their own simulators. Digital marketing strategies, particularly those targeting families and younger individuals, can capitalize on the growing interest in virtual golf. Social media campaigns, influencer partnerships, and family-friendly events could be particularly effective.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Several golf clubs have already seen success by integrating virtual elements. For instance, a club in Arizona reported a 30% increase in youth memberships after installing a simulator and hosting virtual tournaments. Similarly, collaborations between established virtual platforms and traditional courses have proven mutually beneficial, drawing more foot traffic to the courses.

Future Outlook

As technology continues to advance, the line between virtual and traditional golf might blur further. The challenge for the golf industry will be to keep pace with these changes without losing the essence of the sport. Engaging with younger players through technology will be vital, but so will maintaining the traditional aspects that long-time golfers cherish.


The pandemic and the rise of virtual golf have both played significant roles in the recent surge in golf’s popularity. As the sport continues to evolve, embracing digital and virtual technologies will be crucial. For golf to remain relevant and vibrant, it must adapt to the preferences of the next generation without alienating its traditional base. The future of golf depends on its ability to innovate and remain accessible to all.