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Malaysia’s golf industry set to grow post-MCO

PETALING JAYA: A regional survey conducted has shown strong interest among golfers to start playing again after being unable to golf during the movement control order (MCO) periods.

According to the “How Covid-19 is Changing Golf in Asia – Playing Habits” 2021 survey by the global research firm Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS), 63% of Malaysian golfers surveyed were “Going Crazy” while courses were closed waiting to open up again.

Fifteen per cent of those surveyed in Malaysia started the game within the last three years, reflecting worldwide trends of golf growth during the Covid-19 period.

More than half of Malaysian golfers surveyed said they would encourage someone else they know to play golf over the next 12 months. This is most likely to be a golfer’s son, daughter, spouse or partner.

“The demand to play golf via the Deemples platform has been increasing every year but with the flight to safety that golf provides in contrast to other sports, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in golf,” David Wong, CEO and co-founder of Deemples, said.

“Now that we have made it through the worst of things and people are starting to go out again, we are seeing a lot of increased activity. In our first full-month we have been open, we’re actually close to our peak before the lockdowns. The results of the SMS survey are validated by what we are experiencing in the marketplace.”

September 2021 was the first full month of activity for Deemples after a four-month lockdown, which saw them reach almost 90% GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) of their best month. This also included a 17% increase in ticket size per transaction on the Deemples app.

Despite a small sample size, the quick rebound highlights an active and eager market of golfers in the country.

However, golf as we know it, is changing due to the pandemic. The MCOs and isolation have changed golfers’ perspectives.

According to the survey, golfers are likely to play with people whom they do not know personally, with the majority of the respondents (71%) stating that they are receptive to playing with strangers if their friends are unavailable. This shows a stronger willingness to play golf with or without their “golf kakis”.

The survey also highlighted that one third of golfers believe that they would use the clubhouse differently, and over a quarter of them think that the types of group they play in would be different.

“This is translating into more activity and engagement on the Deemples app, as golfers are now more open to look for games and join groups than prior to the pandemic. Using the mobile app will allow them to widen their circle of golf buddies and help them sustain their passion for golf in the long run,” Wong said.

Golf courses are also employing the usage of technology and golfing apps.

“With everyone going online and businesses going digital, it just makes sense that booking your next round of golf can also be as easy as ordering a bubble tea. The golf courses we work with are confident of seeing golfers be more active than before, given how long it has been since they’ve played,” he added.

“How Covid-19 is Changing Golf in Asia – Playing Habits” 2021 survey was run in the third quarter 2021 by the global research firm Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) and covered Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Singapore and The Philippines.

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