Here’s the top three things I learnt about the industry in February 2018

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 28, 2018 06:53 Updated

From a new global handicap system to a very real threat to one in six Scottish golf courses, February 2018 was a game changer for the golf industry, reports The Golf Business editor Alistair Dunsmuir

  1. How golf is presented on television needs to change

YouGov survey on golf shows the need for GolfSixes-style events


It’s been said for years that golf has a negative perception among the public, and now we know it’s true.

A YouGov poll has found that the sport is, far and away, considered to be the most boring one to watch on television for the British public.

Online, our readers have put the blame squarely on how big events are presented with, for example, too much swing analysis and the commentary being substandard.

  1. You can have a handicap of 54 in two years

Any other month this would have been the number one story.

In a bid to address participation issues, golf’s global handicap system will experience the most significant overhaul in decades.

From 2020 golfers can have handicaps as high as 54 and nine-hole rounds will be taken into account, while we’ll be able to use the same handicap we garnered in the UK in the USA.

New World Handicap System to come into play in 2020

As Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said, these changes make the game more modern and more accessible.

  1. Climate change massively affects golf

All of the UK’s links golf courses could disappear by 2100

For the past ten years our sister publication GreenKeeping has been surveying course managers on how they’ve adapted to the changing climate. In 2008 about half disputed the notion that the weather was even changing. For the last five years the percentage that have said it has demonstrably changed has been stuck at 100.

Now a report says that all the links courses in the UK could be gone in about 80 years, organisations like The R&A and STRI are agreeing with it and golf clubs are saying they are losing land every year to coastal erosion.

World’s fifth oldest golf course is losing 1.5 metres of land per year to coastal erosion

As Steve Isaac, director of golf course management at The R&A, said: “Golf is more impacted by climate change than any other sport aside from skiing. There is no question it is becoming a huge factor and the future threats are very real.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 28, 2018 06:53 Updated
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