Global Edition

VISION 2020: A Collective Initiative

1.18pm 3rd October 2014 - Management Topics

After many years of growth, the golf industry clearly has challenges to adopt to the fast changing world. The members of the EGCOA have a big stake and therefore responsibility in the future of the European golf industry. The EGCOA’s national owners associations took the initiative for VISION 2020 to find inspiration for a more sustainable future for the golf industry. Owners, managers, European Golf organisations, & industry suppliers have all been involved.

Vision friendship icon

#1 – Friendship, Golf’s Biggest Challenge & Opportunity?

In partnership with Golf Business News, the EGCOA has released the first of 5 key focus areas for the future of European Golf based on the outcomes of the their VISION 2020 research.


#1 – Friendship

In the increasingly complex society of 2020, golfers want to combine many activities. Playing golf is not primarily about sport, it is about spending quality time with people with whom you share more than a passion for the same sport.

In an era where time is money and where loyalty is on the decline, time spent on leisure activities should yield multiple benefits. Feeling part of a tribe or community will be a strong motivator to be committed and to be loyal. In the end people are not loyal to an activity or venue: people are loyal to people.

The golf world has seen a lot of change in the first one and a half decades of the 21st century and will continue to do so towards 2020. The number of golfers has shown at times impressive growth rates but since 2010 these rates have declined.

VisionAverage European Participation

The average age has gone up to over 50, the baby boomers have taken over. The number of junior players and players between 18-35 are showing the biggest decline, which causes concerns about the future.

Vision Average growth by age group

The type of commitment of the golfer is changing too: the number of memberships is on the decline, posing a threat to the fundamental business model of most golf courses that depend on membership and loyalty.

With these industry and global trends highlighted, are friendship, social engagement and community golfs biggest challenge and opportunity?

From 4-6 November at Real Club de Golf El Prat, a leading line up of industry speakers will answer this question, providing global insights into the underpinning trends, best practices and success stories surround friendship, social engagement and community in the golf industry and beyond.

Topics to be explored during the conference session on the key topic of Friendship:

How can golf tap into the basic human need of tribal belonging?

Why is social engagement such a major hurdle for new golfers in a club environment?

Lodewijk Klootwijk, EGCOA Director said, “Owners across Europe have a big responsibility for the development of the golf industry. With VISION2020 the owners show they want to actively play their part in creating a sustainable future for golf in Europe.”

For more information and to register for the European Golf Business Conference visit

Keep your eye out for next Friday’s release of second Future of European Golf exclusively on Golf Business News.


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