Coronavirus pandemic boosts popularity of golf in S. Korea

By Lim Chang-won Posted : October 13, 2020, 13:32 Updated : October 13, 2020, 13:32

[Courtesy of SBS Golf]

SEOUL -- Golf is not a hobby of middle-aged people any longer in South Korea. As the population of golfers grows younger, there has been a noticeable increase in the demand for golf wear and golf-related items among fashion-conscious people in their 30s who have led the generalization of golf.

Shinsegae, a major department store franchise, said that sales at shops selling golf clubs and related items in August rose 39.7 percent from a year ago. Sales of golf clothing rose together. Among customers in their 30s, sales of golf wear in the first nine months of this year were up 21.1 percent from a year earlier, reflecting the growing popularity of what used to be an expensive sport.

South Korea is a major market for golf equipment and clothes, but home-grown brands are not competitive. There are more than 7,000 "screen golf" cafes equipped with multiple simulators that have played a crucial role in boosting the popularity of golf in South Korea, especially among young people.

During the high season that usually starts in late April, it's very difficult to make reservations at any golf course near Seoul because of what has been dubbed a "booking war" among millions of enthusiastic golfers. The booking war intensified this year thanks to a COVID-19 pandemic that sent many indoor golf fans going out to outdoor golf courses. Overseas travel restrictions played a part.
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