How do you measure any year, much less the physical and mental ultramarathon that was 2020?

When we mailed our annual State of the Industry survey a year ago, we focused on the personal details of turf pro life: How many hours you worked, how often you worked out, how many vacation days you were able to use, whether you were really happy. Those questions are still important, of course, but after a year that featured both courses first empty (thanks to thousands of closures across the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic) then packed (thanks to record month after record month after golf was declared one of the few safe social activities), our questions shifted from micro to macro.

Did rounds played at your course increase in 2020? What percentage of your crew were you forced to furlough or let go? What are your biggest challenges for the year ahead? And what can golf do — what can all of us do, really — to hang on to so many of the new golfers who arrived during the last nine months?

Golf Course Industry partnered with Signet Research, Inc., an independent research company, to produce this 2021 report. We distributed a 35-question survey from November 17 through December 3 to an email list of 3,734 print and/or digital subscribers who are superintendents or directors of agronomy. Results are based on 318 responses and the confidence level is 95 percent with a margin of error of +/-5.5 percent.

In thanks for your annual participation in the survey, Golf Course Industry will donate to the Wee One Foundation, a charitable organization established in 2004 in memory of Wayne Otto, CGCS, that helps superintendents and other turf professionals in need.

Guy Cipriano and Matt LaWell