Golf participation up for 2015

Rosemary Ayim
By Rosemary Ayim May 29, 2015 15:28

The number of golf rounds played in the first quarter of 2015 was up a significant 14 percent compared with 2014, new figures reveal.

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The data, from sports research company SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. (SMS INC.) confirm that the new year has started positively for golf, building on the conclusions of 2014 when golf participation appeared to stabilise, according to two surveys.

The wet weather in the first three months of 2014 has had a major impact on the figures, and the above average temperatures and the generally drier weather in January 2015 meant that most regions enjoyed an encouraging start to the number of rounds played. The Midlands in particular saw a huge increase on 2014, with 33 percent more rounds played.

Scotland, however, possibly due to changes in legislation surrounding drinking and driving that came in in December 2014, saw barely any change in participation.

February was also much drier than the same period 2014, and as a result all regions enjoyed increases in the amount of golf being played in excess of 30 percent. During this time the cricket world cup began with coverage starting in the mornings however this did not have an impact on UK golfing figures.

March 2015 was relatively cold and wet vis-à-vis 2014, and also a month which saw a dramatic culmination in an exciting Six Nations rugby campaign where the final game attracted a TV audience of around 10 million viewers. Both happenings were key factors in all regions suffering decreases in golf rounds played, with the exception of the north region which boasted an increase (5.7 percent) in contrast to 2014.

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Richard Payne, senior manager of sports accounts at SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. commented: “This increase of 14 percent in the first quarter is fantastic news for the industry. This new data offers encouraging insight into the future of the game, and we hope to see similar promising figures leading into the summer months before the Open returns to the home of golf at St Andrews in July.”

 

Rosemary Ayim
By Rosemary Ayim May 29, 2015 15:28
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