The UK Golf Course Owners Association (UKGCOA) has released figures that show a significant rise in the number of people playing golf through the first two months of 2011.
Despite the continued economic uncertainty, research by the UKGCOA has revealed a year on year increase in rounds of golf played across the country with members experiencing an average growth of 28 per cent during January and February compared to 2010 and a 12 per cent increase on 2009.
Milder weather is widely credited with the increase in rounds – February was the warmest recorded since 2002 – proving that if the weather is fair golfers are more willing to take to the tees.
Jerry Kilby, UKGCOA Executive Director, said: “These figures provide the evidence that, although we are still experiencing a great deal of economic insecurity, people are still willing to pay their money to play golf – and there are some excellent offers available for casual and membership golf.
“Therefore it is important that golf course owners and operators continue to provide a first-class service and the best possible facilities both on and off course – when the conditions are right people will want to play golf as many recognise it as a fun way to enjoy some good exercise.”
He added: “After the disastrous end to 2010, when courses across the UK were under a blanket of snow and forced to close, this is welcome news and hopefully a sign of good things to come as we approach the golf season.”
The UKGCOA – open to all golf course owners and operators – will shortly be launching its exclusive in-depth analysis of the health of the golf course industry, conducted in association with Sports Marketing Surveys Inc. (SMS).
This new benchmarking service will allow UKGCOA members to access business performance indicators, such as the number of rounds being played, green fee yields, membership numbers, annual subscription rates and the operating costs of various types of golf course and club across the country.
“Golf course owners can then use this data, collected by quality golf research specialist SMS, to make informed decisions on strategy and investment based on current market information and intelligence,” added Jerry Kilby.