Global Edition

SMS reports record-breaking rounds play for Q3

4.56pm 5th November 2020 - Course Development - This story was updated on Friday, November 6th, 2020

Sports Marketing Surveys has revealed that the number of rounds of golf played in Great Britain between July and September this year has broken all previous records since the company digitally documenting them in 2005.

Overall, the average number of rounds played across the country was up 59% compared to 2019.

The recent surge means that total rounds for the year to date (up to September) were up 7% against 2019. In the context of the complete closure of golf courses for seven week between March and May, and then of ensuing periods of two-ball only play, or increased gaps between tee times, this represents an extraordinary performance for the golf industry.

Leading the charge has been the South of England, where the year-to-date figure was up by 22%. Even in Scotland, where hotels and resorts did not reopen until July 15, strong inroads are being made into the year-to-date deficit.
The news of the huge surge in golf club memberships and rounds played comes as golf clubs brace themselves for another month of closed doors, with courses in England closed from today (November 5) until December 2.
Sports Marketing Surveys director Richard Payne said: “We know this news will be bittersweet for golf courses who have put in so much effort throughout this year to react to the changing coronavirus situation and keep golfers safe. Like many, we had hoped that golf would be able to remain open in any national lockdown. Nevertheless, the record results are a credit to the hard work of course owners, secretaries, professionals, and greenkeeping staff, and should give great heart to clubs as they face the next four weeks.”

He added: “With the delayed Masters driving interest in the sport in November, and consumers more aware than ever of the importance of socialising and exercising outdoors, golf should be well poised – regulations allowing – to rebound in December and end this topsy-turvy year on a high.”   
Sports Marketing Surveys is the leading provider of actionable, robust and independent sports and leisure research. It supports businesses across the sporting landscape to help them understand the players, fans, events and stakeholders who matter. For more information, please visit


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