11 million Brits engaging in golf

Posted on October 12, 2015

SMS INC. can reveal the results of an extensive study into the golf participation rates in the UK, commissioned by The European Tour. The research consisted of 10,050 interviews carried out in June and July of 2015.

In recent years golf participation in the UK has reportedly been in decline, with the participation rate in 2014 settling at 3.5 million. This figure was based upon the number of individuals in the UK playing on an 18 hole golf course. However, since undertaking new research, SMS INC. can reveal that when taking into account other elements of the game of golf, the number of individuals actively engaging with some form of the sport increases to 9.3 million adults, and 1.7 million 6-17 year olds, a total of almost a fifth of the population.



The emergence of several shorter formats of the sport are still actively engaging people to take part in golf, many of them juniors. These formats include: the Driving Range, (3.1m ‘active’ users); Pitch and Putt (2.3m); Nine Hole Courses (2.2m); Putting Greens (1.7m); and Par Three or Short Courses (1.2m). As well as this, non-traditional formats of the game have been studied, including Adventure or Mini-Golf (2.7m ‘active’ users); Golf Computer Games (1.9m); and Golf Simulators (0.4m). As a result, these ‘golf actives’ are taking part in more-than-one of these varied formats of the game.

These fun, fast and flexible versions of the game are attracting more people into the sport, specifically; young people. One in five under 18s is now considered to be ‘Golf Active’.

These new figures suggests that “the sport is very healthy, participation in it is changing and the younger generation have more options to experience our wonderful game” Keith Pelley, Chief executive of The European Tour. He goes on to say: “That doesn’t mean playing 18 holes should not remain the pinnacle of golf: indeed, doing so successfully is the goal to which most will continue to aspire. It simply means that playing 18 holes shouldn’t be the sole yardstick we use to measure participation.”

See the full report here.

Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour discussed the results on Sky Sports.

See a full article in Golf Business News and on the European Tour Website.


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