According to a new national study of golf participation in the U.S., the number of core golfers (adults age 18+ who play eight or more rounds a year) is higher than previously reported. The core golfer number is estimated to be 15 million as compared to a figure of 12.5 million published by NGF a year ago.
The study also found that the number of junior golfers increased between 2005 and 2006, from 4.4 million to 4.8 million kids ages 6 to 17. The overall number of golfers for 2006, counting anyone age 6 and above who played at least one round of golf during the year, is estimated at 28.7 million, down 2.0% from the prior year.
The research study was done as a joint effort of the newly formed USA Sports Participation Study, which includes: Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, National Golf Foundation, Snowsports Industries America and the Outdoor Industry Foundation.
In February 2007, the partnership surveyed a random sample of 60,169 individuals from the online panel of Synovate, a leading market research firm. Respondents were asked about their participation in 114 fitness activities and sports, including golf. The data was statistically weighted (by gender, age, income, etc.) to reflect the total U.S. population age 6 and above.
“This year’s study is superior to ones we’ve done in the past, primarily due to the larger sample size of 60,000,” says NGF president and CEO Joe Beditz. “This larger sample gives us a more detailed view of the American golfer than we have ever had, and we also have better information on other sports and fitness activities that golfers engage in.”