Huge rise in golf rounds in first 3 months of 2017

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 3, 2017 11:56

The first three months of 2017 saw a nine per cent rise in the number of rounds of golf played compared with the previous year.

The figures in the Golf Rounds Played study from sports research company SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC (SMS INC) also show the first quarter of the year saw the highest number of rounds played in five years.

The results are a welcome boost for an industry which has seen participation generally fall for more than a decade.

The mild weather much of the UK saw at the start of the year has been cited as a reason, although similar research from the home golf unions and other surveying companies over the last 12 months seems to suggest that participation is increasing at the moment.

“Following on from a positive final quarter of 2016, SMS INC has confirmed that the average number of rounds played has increased by nine per cent in the first quarter 2017, compared to the same period in 2016 and sees average rounds played for the quarter at its highest level since 2012,” said a spokesman.

Last year, a very wet January resulted in all regions suffering a decrease, and this year’s milder and more importantly drier weather has allowed for more people to get out on the golf course.

“This quarter, the south was the most successful region with an increase of at least 10 per cent each month, and the Midlands and Scotland also saw overall increases. “The north had a very strong January but decreases in February and March resulted in a static position compared to the first quarter of 2016.”

Richard Payne, director at SMS INC, added: “Another positive quarter of rounds played is evidence that golf is not broken and when the elements are kind, golfers will play.

“Our research has frequently highlighted the habitual nature of the sport, so a positive Q1 is critical to build momentum for the rest of the year.

“With an Easter weekend this year falling in Q2 and a thrilling Masters, let’s hope the traditional start of the golf season continues this upward trend.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 3, 2017 11:56
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