Two percent of England is golf courses

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu January 22, 2014 05:12 Updated

Two percent of England is golf courses

Approximately two percent of all the land in England is devoted to its nearly 2,000 golf courses, according to new research.

golf courses

England has just under 2,000 golf courses

This means there is about twice as much land devoted to golf courses in England than there is to housing.

Merseyside is the English county that is most densely populated with golf courses – more than 18 of its 644 kilometers of land have golf courses on them, representing nearly three percent, and the area is hoping to build another major course shortly.

West Midlands is the second most densely covered county in England, with 2.74 percent of its land being golf courses, and Surrey, the county that was at the centre of a legal battle last year concerning it having no need for more golf courses, was third with 2.65 percent.

Yorkshire, which has 0.58 percent of land for golf courses, is thought to be the least golf-covered county in England.

The research is a mixture of England Golf data and calculations by Inside Housing blogger Colin Wiles, who believes that 270,000 hectares of English land is taken up by golf courses, which equates to two percent of England’s 13.4 million hectares of land area.

Domestic buildings take up 1.1 percent of the country, according to the government.

Golf commentator Peter Alliss said that the findings will do nothing to stop the public’s perception that golf is bad for the environment, but this is misguided.

“I would say the average golf club in Britain is 105 to 110 acres,” he said, “of which only about 25 to 40 acres is cultivated. So when people talk about golf courses taking up land or using huge amount of herbicides, that’s not right.

“At the moment there are enough golf courses to satisfy everyone. People are dropping out of golf clubs because the economy is tight. They’re relinquishing memberships because they realise they can pay a green fee instead. There’s a lot of nonsense talked about golf courses. More pesticides are put on farms than golf courses. They’re a sanctuary for wildlife and create a pleasant place for people to go and enjoy themselves.”

Pete Jefferys, from homeless charity Shelter, added: “Golf is not the answer to the housing shortage, but it does show that we shouldn’t despair. There is space to house the next generation, let’s get on with it.

“This is not to say we need to build over any golf course in the country, or have anything against golf. Just that we could find the land for homes if we really wanted to.”

Bermuda is thought to be the most heavily-golfed area on the planet. Approximately 8.2 percent of the island is devoted to golf courses.


Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu January 22, 2014 05:12 Updated
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  1. @GolfingSwingers January 22, 06:48

    Two percent of England is golf courses (or, shockingly, 98 percent of England is NOT golf courses)

    Reply to this comment
  2. Green Roof (@GreenRoof2) January 22, 17:14

    Approximately two percent of all the land in England is devoted to its nearly 2,000 golf courses, according to…

    Reply to this comment
  3. Chris Lomas January 23, 16:42

    I would like to see his calculations as even though I’m in the middle of the 3rd most populated area, and once lived in the most populated area, this doesn’t ring true. Think of how vast the area is when you fly over.

    Reply to this comment
  4. mark harrhy January 24, 16:09

    2000 clubs x 110 acres is 220,000 acres. England is 32,221,300 acres so the total area of golf courses is 0.68% not 2%.

    Reply to this comment
  5. (@TSGers) January 25, 12:39

    2% of UK land is golf course…….. which interestingly enough, means 98% of it isn’t! #Discuss

    Reply to this comment
  6. @ChefJohn3 January 27, 09:04

    Two percent of England is golf courses

    Reply to this comment
  7. Golfing journalist (@AlDunsmuir) February 11, 07:09

    .@golfclubtails @GCSAA @david59duval >>> the distribution of golf courses in England & Wales

    Reply to this comment
  8. Garforth Golf Club (@GarforthGC) February 27, 19:27

    Did You Know?….(Via @GCM_mag)

    Reply to this comment
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