Women’s Players, New Model, Golf Courses and the Academy have boosted tremendous growth
Kaieteur News- Guyana Golf Association President Aleem Hussain said golf is in 2020 and so far in 2021, golf is showing a remarkable surge in participation and rounds played despite the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year may actually be more positive than even predicted, and golf industry groups around the world are calling it a “year of resurrection”.
In particular, the growth numbers in many cases set all-time records in several categories, and the number of golfers entering the game in 2020 was only a small indication of the enthusiasm around the sport in Guyana.
“There has been less optimism and new activity in golf in the country’s history,” said Aleem Hussain, president of GGA, in a recent update stating “The covid-19 restrictions allowed golf, one of the few compliant full of sport to thrive and attract new players. In addition, the introduction of the game in 42 schools across the country boosted growth as thousands of students now have access to sport. “
The GGA said that while golfers in the United States in 2020 increased by two percent over 2019, the largest net gain in 17 years, that’s nothing compared to Guyana’s growth of over 3,000.
New players (beginners and golfers coming back to the game for the first time in years) stood at 3,220, the highest in a single year.
Last year also saw the largest percentage increase in the start of golfers and the largest increase in youth golfers coming to the game. Women golfers were also part of the 2020 surge, jumping to 450 active players, up from just 5 in 2019.
The GGA noted that new golfers were not just the biggest driver of the rounds played. Instead, it was the “core golfers” (more than ten rounds a year) who succeeded in increasing their games. The report quotes that “existing players (about 20 percent of the core golfer population)” have boosted the boost in the average rounds played per golfer.
“We’re still in a huge transition,” said Hussain, “2020 was a huge growth year, 2021 will be an even bigger transition year and I think the golf landscape will get more energized , more momentum, more active participants than any other sport in the country by the end of 2022. ”
The GGA expects to see more than 12,000 active golfers play the sport in the next 12 months, a feat that will catapult Guyana to regional dominance. Demand for Golf courses and additional training programs will increase and we can expect to see at least 8-10 new play facilities developed to meet demand.
The game has to adapt to the new normal and we see people wanting faster results and not having enough time to spend 5 hours in the sun. The Guyana Golf Association and Nexgen Golf Academy have created a 3-Hole model similar to the 20/20 version of cricket and expects this to change the way Golf is played around the world.
In addition, the design concept of smaller courses created by Hussain allows easier access for thousands of urban players and significantly reduces maintenance costs. This helps eliminate high membership fees and provides dozens of jobs locally for cadets, maintenance and club staff.
Nexgen Golf Academy is on Woolford Avenue in the heart of Georgetown. There are no membership fees and it is open daily to practice and educate anyone who is interested.