Golf participation in the UK slows – but still growing

Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham August 8, 2017 12:16

The latest research on golf participation in the UK has found that more people played the game in April, May and June this year than in 2016.

More good news comes as this follows an outstanding first quarter of golf participation in 2017 – however the Q2 figures are lower than they were in 2014 and 2015, and the pace of growth compared to the previous year has slowed down.

“SMS INC. reveals a continued increase of the number of rounds of golf played in the second quarter of 2017 with a rise of four per cent compared with the same period in 2016,” reads a statement from the sports marketing research company.

Participation saw a nine per cent increase between January and March 2017 compared with 2016, while the figures for Q2 2016 were 12 per cent down on 2015, which was only slightly higher than in 2014.

Last year the UK saw 163 per cent of average rainfall in June, which, it is thought, kept golfers away from the course.

In this quarter rainfall was an average of 48 per cent in the UK overall and it was the warmest May since 1910, which is likely to have had a positive impact on participation.

“The Midlands was the top performing region with an increase of seven per cent on last year,” added the statement.

“Every region saw a growth in the average rounds played in April 2017 which may have been due to the fact that the Easter break fell in mid-April, providing golfers additional opportunities play.

“Considered by many as the start of the golf season, The Masters is the first showcase to excite those latent golfers who haven’t dusted off the clubs from their winter hibernation, and the duel between Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose has proven the perfect catalyst to drive rounds played forward in Q2. With a continued spell of warm and dry weather, especially in the south and Midlands, it is encouraging to see the momentum from Q1 continuing into Q2 and let’s hope Speith’s incredible finish at the Open can push this further into Q3.”


Martyn Clapham
By Martyn Clapham August 8, 2017 12:16
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