More than 66 million people play golf around the world

A recent study by the Royal and Ancient and the agency Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) has reflected that gol

A recent study by the Royal and Ancient and the agency Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) has reflected that golf has experienced a very significant increase in popularity around the world since 2016, with the incorporation of more than five and a half million golfers to the practice of this sport.

The total number of players worldwide has increased from 61 million to 66.6 in these five years, surpassing the previous record of 61.6 million established in 2012. The results of this study that was released this Tuesday include the club members, as well as independent non-member golfers playing nine or 18 holes. Users of practice fields are also integrated in markets where the availability of fields is limited.

The new figure reflects a positive trend after a period of decline around the world. This data was recently highlighted in the 2021 European golf players report, where it was revealed that more than 10.6 million golfers enjoy this sport in the Old Continent, a considerable increase compared to the 7.9 million registered for the last time in 2016.

Phil Anderton, Director of Development at The R&A, said: “Golf is enjoying a real boom in popularity right now and we are seeing substantial increases in the sport in many parts of the world, particularly in the last two years when it skyrocketed. due to the fact that it can be played safely outdoors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The new figures are very encouraging but we have to work together as a sport to make the most of this opportunity, retaining those who have returned to golf or who have tried it for the first time. We can achieve this by offering a variety of attractive and flexible options that encourage golfers to play more regularly and enjoy its many health and wellness benefits with family and friends. ”

SMS collected participation data from national federations in different regions of the world, using nationally representative studies and expert estimates to calculate the global number of golfers.

The regions that experienced the largest increases are Asia (20.9 million to 23.3 million); Europe (from 7.9 to 10.6 million, driven mainly by Great Britain and Ireland, from 3.6 to 5.7 million); and North America (29.9 million to 30.6 million).

Figures from the research indicate that the growth trend started before Covid-19 and then accelerated during the pandemic as the popularity of golf grew as golfers were able to socially distance themselves in a safe outdoor environment and stay active. to improve your physical and mental health.

Various studies detail the experiences of golfers during the pandemic, motivations for playing and long-term plans. Among new golfers, 98% of those interviewed indicated that they enjoy playing golf and 95% see themselves doing it for many years.

The research also described the recommendations that clubs can take to retain new players, including feeling welcomed and valued; a friendly culture and a relaxed atmosphere; participation options based on capacity and experience; good customer service; have an efficient reservation system; the quality and maintenance of the field; and most importantly, play in a supportive environment.