Apr 26, 2023 - Sports

The rise of midweek golf

Midweek golf trips, <span style="background:#005e1d; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">2019</span> and <span style="background:#00ab58; padding:3px 5px;color:white;">2022</span>
Data: Stanford University and INRIX; Chart: Axios Visuals

During the pandemic, golf was the official sport of social distance. Now, it's settling in as the official sport of remote work.

State of play: The COVID-fueled golf boom has yet to go bust thanks in part to the incredible rise of midweek golf, according to a recent study from Stanford.

By the numbers: Using geolocation data near golf courses in the U.S., researchers found that 83% more golf games were played on weekdays in August 2022 than in August 2019.

  • In 2019, there were 12,700 "golf course trips" on Mondays, 11,400 on Tuesdays, 10,800 on Wednesdays and 15,000 on Thursdays.
  • In 2022, those numbers were 24,400, 25,800, 26,200 and 26,300, respectively.

Between the lines: Wednesday afternoons have seen the biggest transformation.

  • 278% more golf trips were made at 4pm on a Wednesday in August 2022 vs. August 2019, per the study.
  • "Every course, every minute is packed now throughout the week," one golf course manager told the researchers. "No more quiet Wednesdays."

The big picture: Millions of Americans who started working remotely three years ago are now set in those routines — and more comfortable leveraging their flexibility, NYT notes.

  • This has created huge demand for leisure activities like golf and yoga, and a large swath of the country is participating in the growing "afternoon fun economy."
  • 27% of paid full-time work days in the U.S. were done from home at the start of 2023, per data from the same Stanford researchers.

The last word … From an anonymous California tech executive cited in the study:

"I think my colleague was taking his Zoom call from the golf course. He was on mute and video off, but once when he was talking, I heard somebody talking about the fairway and strokes."
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