Golf in Scottsdale is on the upswing and beating national trends

Against the odds

Despite gloomy news about the state of golf across the country, the outlook appears sunny for Scottsdale, “The World’s Finest Golf Destination,” according to the recent market study by Sports & Leisure Research Group.

The study, sponsored by the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, was conducted in cooperation with the Scottsdale golf community. It found significant growth in three key areas when comparing the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2013: golf-related fee revenue (excluding annual passes/memberships) was up 8.2 percent; the average rate per round (excluding annual passes/memberships) was up 1.9 percent; and the number of golf rounds played increased 10.3 percent on average.

This last metric is particularly encouraging to Scottsdale’s golf community because the growth in rounds played outpaced the growth in hotel occupancy, which had increased 2.3 percent over the same time period. It also is substantially better than the national trend, which showed a 4.5 percent decrease in the number of rounds played during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.

“We were pleased, but not surprised by the numbers,” said Caroline Stoeckel, vice president of marketing for the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our members all reported anecdotally that the 2013 season was very strong. It is rewarding, though, to quantify those good feelings with objective results. And, it is even more rewarding to see how our golf community has come together to share the data and benefit the destination as a whole.”

The recent market study is part of a year-long project by the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and its golf constituents to gain a better understanding of why golfers choose Scottsdale and how the destination can best serve their interests and needs.

“What we are finding, based upon this recent market research study, is that golf travelers are attracted to Scottsdale by the same attributes that bring other guests,” said Stoeckel. “It’s an easy place to travel to from anywhere in the country or internationally. It’s sunny and warm. The Sonoran Desert is incredibly beautiful. We’ve got tremendous world-class resorts, dining, nightlife, sporting events and other attractions. And, for golf travelers, it certainly helps that we have more than 200 golf courses to choose from in the surrounding area.”

To learn more about what makes Scottsdale the “World’s Finest Golf Destination,” visit