Millennials are an importLandscapes Unlimited Golf Services - Millennialsant demographic to many industries. This generation is comprised of those born between the early-1980s to the early-2000s. In 2013, approximately 200,000 millennial golfers left the sport. Recently, with the rise of millennial golf stars such as Jordan Spieth, as well as digital media marketing, the numbers are starting to change. This age group made up about 28 percent of total golfers in 2015, which mirrors its percentage in the population.


When it comes to this generation’s golfing style, there are notable differences in playing styles when compared to previous generations. For instance, millennials often like to listen to music while playing – something others aren’t accustomed to. One of our golf clubs in Illinois recently had numerous discussions at board meetings regarding the USGA rules and the club’s official position on music on the course. The club ultimately decided to allow music at a reasonable volume as a trial run.


Another difference with the millennial generation is the choices in food and beverage, which can be a huge impact on your club. When it comes to beer, millennials have a definite preference for craft beers over domestic “big box” beers. This generation wants their own identity and is trying to break away from the beer their parents liked, and they are willing to pay more for it. Many of our clubs are now featuring local brewers and wider varieties of beer to ensure they are attracting all players of all ages.


In addition to beverages, the food industry is also changing. In general, smaller menus with local producers are a huge trend, and clubs are adapting to maintain the interests of their members. For example, one of our clubs is now sourcing locally grown beef and pork for their featured entrees, and another in South Dakota features bison as its local fare.


New generations will begin to make waves in all industries, and golf courses are no exception. Have you started to see more millennials on your course? What changes have you made to adapt to them?