Dedicated golfers are still happy to spend money on their sport even in times of austerity, with three in four club members taking at least one golf break each year.
That’s the findings of a recent poll carried out by HowDidiDo. Almost 1,200 users of the website – all registered golf club members – responded to the poll asking how many golf breaks were taken each year and a staggering 77 per cent owned up to going away for a golf holiday each year.
A whopping 47 per cent – almost one in two – book three or more packages a year, indicating that even when money is tight, dedicated golfers travel to enjoy their sport.
When asked about the length of their holidays, 83 per cent of respondents said that their breaks last three days or longer, with 37 per cent of the trips taken going to the Iberian Peninsula.
Portugal is the most popular destination with one in five golf breaks heading for the sunshine. Scotland, the Home of Golf, was the second most popular destination with 18 per cent, and, perhaps not surprisingly, Spain came third with 17 per cent.
Only 17 per cent of the breaks were to long-haul destinations, such as the USA or Thailand.
There are arguably few better websites from which to take an accurate sample of golfing opinion. HowDidiDo boasts a membership of more than 330,000 golfers – all golf club members – and contains a database of handicaps, results and scores for in excess of 1.3m men and women.
HowDidiDo’s managing director, Barry Dyett, said: “The responses to these questions shows that, while much is made currently of the economic downturn, dedicated golfers will continue to fund their hobby.
“Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised, as all HowDidiDo members are members of a golf club, so, if they’re prepared to stump up the money for their annual membership, it’s no great shock to learn they don’t baulk at paying for a trip.”
Standard membership to HowDidiDo is free and the plethora of statistics available allows any golfer to analyse and compare performance with other players at their own club or across the network. During 2011, the site received more than 60 million page views.
Registration to HowDidiDo is required to check handicap lists or competition results, but it remains a free service to any golf club whose administrators use CLUB2000 software from Club Systems International, which is in place at around 2,000 UK clubs.
Nearly 1,500 golf clubs currently use the HowDidiDo site and the service welcomes new members daily.