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Night golf is lighting up the course - but what is it all about?

3 min read
Apr 22, 2024

When we turn off the light, our sense of sight worsens significantly, and we are forced to make use of other senses. That happens with night golf, and it is a relatively new trend that gives golfers the chance to hit the course after dark. But why even think about playing golf after daylight, and why should golf club managers consider this option in the future?

Have you ever wondered what golfing at nighttime looks like? 

Well, one could say that our amount of time is limited and one of the most precious things we have. For golfers, there are only so many hours in a day and days in a week to play, and as golf is getting more popular, it might also get tougher to find tee times during the day.  

But what if courses could stay open longer, take in more players, and give golfers extra time to play? That is what night golf can bring to the industry going forward.  

If you've ever thought about the concept of playing golf at night, you might have imagined golfers going to the driving range to practice their swing. But there's another way for your golfers to enjoy their favorite sport after sunset, and it's called night golf. At first glance, it might seem like a regular round just played under the cover of darkness, but it will perhaps be a completely different experience that adds a whole new dimension to golf.   

Night golf is a twist to the traditional round of golf

Night golf takes the regular game of golf and flips the switch - literally. Instead of teeing off under the bright sun, players take to the course after sunset, guided by the glow of lights that illuminate the fairways and greens. It turns ordinary golf courses into magical playgrounds under the stars. But playing night golf isn’t just about swapping daylight for darkness; it offers a new angle and a fresh perspective on an already vast industry of golf.   

Under the rays of the sun, visibility is often not a problem for most golfers, but it quickly becomes a challenge after nightfall. During night golf, players will be guided by the glow of neon markers and LED-lit flagsticks. Courses are set up with special lights to shine on the fairways, greens, bunkers, and other important parts of the course. Sometimes, even the golf balls light up when hitting them. Your regular round of golf suddenly seems quite different from what players get from night golf. 

Let there be light on the greens

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: why should golf clubs consider embracing night golf? The answer lies in its potential to attract a new generation of golfers and increase the overall golfer experience. 

In a world full of entertainment choices and where people get easily distracted, night golf offers an opportunity for golf businesses to provide new experiences that set golf clubs apart from the competition. It adds new potential for increasing revenue, from hosting nighttime tournaments and events to offering night golf packages that include dining and entertainment – or just a quick round after dark for green fee golfers.   

Moreover, night golf isn’t just about attracting seasoned golfers; it’s about engaging a diverse audience, from families looking for a fun evening out to young people seeking a different sort of activity. With night golf, clubs can position themselves as hubs of entertainment and social interaction, adding an extra layer to their game, and we know for a fact that the entire experience matters just as much as the course itself. Especially if you are trying to complete that perfect chain of touchpoints.

Golfing at night put to reality in Arizona

You might wonder how all of this becomes a reality and how to carry it out effectively. The Players 1st club, Grass Clippings Rolling Hills in Arizona, was among the first 20 courses to apply this in America. Let’s have a look at their strategy, shall we?   

At Grass Clippings Rolling Hills, night golf isn't for the future, it's happening right now. They launched the project on Arizona’s first fully lit 18-hole golf course in December 2023.  

With LED lights, the course transforms into an illuminated par 54 after sundown. Golfers can tee off under the stars and track their shots across holes ranging from 80 to more than 180 meters. Here, players are treated to a stunning 360-degree view of Sky Harbor Airport and downtown Phoenix.

Let’s shape the night together

Going forward, we'll probably see a lot more to night golf, and it's likely that golf businesses worldwide could find great potential in exploring this extension of our favorite sport. Night golf is still a work in progress, but it's guaranteed to continue evolving in various directions all over the world. Given the fact that it is still pretty fresh, golf clubs can really get in there and help shape the future of courses when the sun goes down. 

That's also why it's nearly impossible to predict the future of night golf, but one thing's for sure: we're really fascinated by it here at Players 1st, and we're not done exploring the topic. Hopefully, together we can learn more about it and help bring a new perspective to the game for golfers.


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