Surprising rise in female golfers in Ireland

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 30, 2018 12:47

Golf clubs in both Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland have reported significant growth in the number of women who have been playing the game in the last couple of years.

Golf has been struggling with decreasing participation rates for about 20 years, and Ireland has been one of the most affected territories, with a number of clubs closing down.

However, clubs across the British Isles have very low participation rates among women compared with the rest of the world and data has found that clubs would thrive if they tapped into an existing potential market for women golfers.

The latest Irish Sports Monitor (ISM) report finds that the number of female golfers has gone up by a third in just two years.

Overall, golf participation has increased to 2.5 per cent of the population compared to 2.3 per cent in 2015.

More specifically, the number of women actively participating in the game has increased from 0.9 to 1.2 per cent in that time.

It was recently advised that, since 2014, 4,600 have joined as introductory members of golf clubs via ‘Get into Golf’ – 3,000 have been women and girls.

This increment means golf is the seventh most popular sport in Ireland ahead of Gaelic football and hurling.

Redmond O’Donoghue, chairman of the board of Ireland’s golf union, CGI, said: “These figures are a great boost for the game given the many efforts being made to increase participation in golf through the CGI Get into Golf programmes. We continue to be fully committed to growing the game on the island of Ireland through recruitment and retention initiatives.”

Sinead Heraty, chief executive of the Irish Ladies Golf Union, said: “It is very positive to see a narrowing of the gender gap regarding participation in sport. In particular, it is very encouraging that golf remains unchanged as the seventh most popular sport in Ireland and has achieved an increase in female participation since 2015.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 30, 2018 12:47
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