Here’s the top three things I learnt about the industry in February

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 1, 2015 13:52

3. Participation in golf might have finally stopped dropping.

It’s been a dreadful few years for the industry, with many clubs losing vital revenue due to a drop in both the number of people being members and the numbers playing the game, but, even though the general public has only recently picked up on this trend (partly because of Rory McIlroy’s comments after failing to be crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year last year), the worst may now actually be over.

rory mcilroy

Rory McIlroy


Two new surveys looking at participation in 2014 found that it either fell slightly, or even rose, on the previous year, something we’ve not seen for a long time.

2. Speedgolf is the next big thing.

This time last year we were looking at the growth of footgolf, but the craze for 2015 is speedgolf, in which competitors’ scores are based on both their number of strokes and the time it took them to complete their rounds. This has resulted in golfers running through their rounds in less than two hours.

speedgolf champ wally english kevin krejci

Just as with footgolf, some in the industry hate it, while others are embracing it. It remains to be seen if it will have a lasting effect.

1. Mergers have become all the rage.

Golf administrators have in the past been keen to separate the running of the men’s and women’s game, and this seems to be coming to a shuddering end now.

Northamptonshire has become the first county in England to merge its ladies’ and men’s county organisations, and several others are set to follow suit.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association has backed a merger with the Scottish Golf Union, which is set to give strong support in return, and less than a fortnight after The Royal and Ancient GC offered honorary membership to women such as Princess Anne and Laura Davies for the first time in its 260-year history, The R&A has held ‘exploratory discussions’ about joining with the Ladies’ Golf Union.


It’s a great way for the game to address some of the negative stereotypes associated with it.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 1, 2015 13:52
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