The Golf Research Group has just published its bi-annual report on the size, direction and current economic condition of the market. Country by country analysis provides detailed statistics, comment and recent trends in golf course supply, green fees, joining fees, annual subscriptions, numbers of golfers and import/export figures for golf related products.
In summary some of the Report’s key findings are as follows:
Golf supply continues to boom in many countries. Over the last five years Switzerland and Norway have increased their stock of courses by 41% and 35% respectively and Spain and Portugal have each increased by 22%.
Over the longer term, the last fifteen years or so, golf in Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries has accelerated the fastest. Matched by appropriate increases in participation levels, the long-term success of these northern European developments looks assured.
Golf development in southern Europe looks less certain. Much of the development in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy has not been accompanied by increased domestic interest and needs a healthy tourist trade to survive. But with the threatened emergence of new tourist destinations in Greece, Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia long-term stability is far from guaranteed.
The emerging eastern European markets perhaps now offer the greatest potential reward for the speculative developer but they are not without risk.
Clubs in France and Italy are in desperate need of more members with 89% and 42% respectively of courses offering memberships at no joining fee. Membership levels per 18 holes average barely above 300. Much of the speculative development in France has failed so badly that courses have been returned to their former agricultural use.
Female golfers represent 42% of the Dutch golfing population and almost all European countries have over 25% female golfers. Scotland, England and Wales are at the foot of this table with only 17% of the golfing population being female.
Sweden leads the way in junior golf with 18% while 12% is the European average.
The Golf Research Group’s ‘Euro Report’ costs £375 and can be purchased by cheque or credit card.
Golf Research Group, 30 St Thomas Street, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8EJ United Kingdom Tel: Int. +44 (0)1305 768114
Golf Research Group www.golf-research.com