Global Edition

Golf Participation in the UK Holding Strong

8.36am 16th March 2012 - Management Topics

The 2011 SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. UK Golf Participation report has revealed that the number of adults (aged 15+) who have played golf at least once on a full length course over the past 12 months has remained consistent with 2009 at close to 4 million golfers (approx. 8% of the UK population).

A real positive for the sport is the increase in the number of regular golfers – those who play 12 times a year or more – which is a result of occasional golfers playing more regularly, although this does hide a significant decline in the number of avid golfers (those who play 52+ times a year). This highlights an issue facing the sport – namely, the overall reduced frequency of play amongst regular golfers which impacts on golf club membership. However in a year whereUKrounds played* were at its highest for the past 5 years,

It is clear that the nomad golfer is playing an increasingly important role in the success of a golf club and in turn for the whole industry.

Richard Payne, SMS INC. Sports Account Manager, stated: “At a time when figures and reports are highlighting the fall of registered golfers, it is encouraging to note that these golfers are still out there, it is just how they play and regard golf membership which is changing. Whilst this may appear challenging, this presents an opportunity for the golf industry to reinvigorate the market by finding out what makes these golfers tick and ensuring all tastes are catered for.”

For the first time, the 2011 report also compares golf participation with that of other comparable sports such as tennis, cycling and swimming with some very interesting findings on how the demographic (gender, age and income) make-up of these sports differ.

For more information on our golf research or to purchase the 2011 UK Golf Participation Report please contact: Richard Payne, Sports Marketing Surveys Inc., Tel: 01932 345 539 Email: Readers of should make themselves known – there may be something to your advantage.



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