More women than men play golf in this European country

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 13, 2017 12:46

For the first time ever a European country has reported that more women were members of its golf clubs than men in 2016.

According to KPMG’s Golf Participation Report for Europe 2017, which also has excellent news for golf in England, 45 per cent of registered golfers in Slovakia are adult women with 42 per cent adult men. The remaining registered golfers are juniors. Slovakia has more than 10,000 registered golfers across its 29 golf clubs – a rise of more than 25 per cent in just one year.

This demonstrated the enormous potential that there is for women to join golf clubs if the marketing and facilities are tailored accordingly, especially as nations with low female participation are seeing general participation falls.

In another four European countries – Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland – more than a third of the registered golfers are adult women, while Wales, England and Scotland have the second to fourth lowest proportions of female golfers, ranging from 12 to 13 per cent. Only Albania, where just three per cent of golfers are female, has a lower proportion of lady golfers in Europe than the British nations.

 

Nearly half of the countries in Europe saw a rise in golfers last year and less than a fifth saw a drop. Two of the countries to see falls were Scotland and Wales, while Sweden, where more than a quarter of registered golfers are adult women, saw the largest rise overall.

Germany now has just under a quarter of a million adult female club members, nearly double the next three highest countries on the list: The Netherlands, Sweden and France. England is fifth with 90,132 adult women as members of golf clubs.

Despite the low proportion of female members, England had an outstanding year in 2016 and saw a large increase in its number of golf club members.

The country saw a rise of 4.4 per cent – nearly 30,000 people – from 665,103 members in 2015 to 694,623 members in 2016. This was the biggest rise in Europe – ahead of Spain which saw growth by more than 28,000 golfers, nearly 10 per cent.

England has the most amount of golf club members in Europe with Germany second on 643,158, Sweden third on 463,952. More than a quarter (1,907) of the nearly 7,000 golf courses in Europe reside in England, which saw 16 closures in 2016.

The top six countries for participation all saw rises in 2016 but seventh on the list, Scotland, saw a fall from 199,244 golfers to 192,533, and it lost 19 golf venues, to 578. With one golf course per 9,351 people, Scotland is the second most densely covered country in golf courses in Europe per population – behind only Iceland, which has 61 golf courses at one venue per 5,547 people.

Ireland lost four golf courses to 190 in 2016 and saw a small drop in the number of golfers to 190,883 and Wales lost one venue and saw a more than three per cent drop in participation to 45,422 people.

Turkey is the only country in Europe where the majority of golfers – 43 per cent – are juniors, compared to 41 per cent being adult men.

Sweden has the largest number of junior golfers – just 48 more than England at 46,048. Germany and France both have more than 40,000 junior golfers as members of clubs.

The report suggests that 2016 was a good year for the industry with just 52 golf clubs across the continent closing down, and 24 new venues opened. Europe also saw a rise in the number of golfers by two per cent (more than 82,500 new players).

The research further shows that men make up 67 per cent of the total registered golfers across Europe in 2016, and the proportion of European population who actively played golf (0.9 per cent) has not changed since 2015.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 13, 2017 12:46
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