England still dominates Europe’s golf course table

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 20, 2019 13:56

A new R&A report on golf around the world has found that more than three-quarters of all the golf courses in existence are located in just 10 countries.

Golf Around the World 2019 shows that 78 per cent of the world supply of golf courses is located in the United States, Japan, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, France, Republic of Korea, Sweden and Scotland.

Europe has the second largest regional share with 23 per cent of the world’s total and far and away the number one golfing country in Europe is England, which is home to 2,270 golf courses.

In second place is Germany, with a total below half of that in England, at 1,050 golf courses.

Germany is followed by France (804), Sweden (662) and Scotland, with 614 golf courses.

Spain takes sixth place in the list presented with 497 golf courses, while Ireland holds slightly less with 494.

Rounding off the top 10 in Europe is Denmark (346), the Netherlands (330) and Italy, with 321 golf courses.

Across the continent, there are 8,940 golf courses. Europe is also the busiest continent, in terms of golf development, with 151 golf developments in 28 countries.

‘Golf is available around the globe,’ states the report. ‘As of year-end 2018, there were 38,864 golf courses in 209 of the world’s
 249 countries.

‘Turkmenistan joined the ranks of golfing countries in 2018 with the opening of the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ashgabat Golf Club. The former USSR is now one of 47 countries with only one golf course; 28 of them have only nine holes of golf.

‘The majority of worldwide golf course supply is located in the western hemisphere. North and South America are home to 53 per cent of world supply; the US alone claims 43 per cent of the world’s total. Europe has the second largest regional share with 23 per cent of the world’s total, followed by Asia with 16 per cent and Oceania with five per cent. Those numbers show a marginal shift from North America to Asia in recent years.

‘The more mature, larger golf markets have experienced a disproportionately higher number of closures than elsewhere in the world, suggesting a ‘course correction’ from over-development in prior decades. The US, the UK, Japan, Australia and Canada account for 80 per cent of recent closures while combining for 68 per cent of total course supply.

‘Though the sport has traditionally been associated with private clubs where play is essentially restricted to members, in fact golf worldwide is overwhelmingly played at public facilities, with 75 per cent of courses publicly accessible in some form or another on a ‘pay per play’ basis.’

A discussion on this story can be found on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn%3Ali%3Aactivity%3A6546324166696677376/?actorCompanyId=4983881


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 20, 2019 13:56
Write a comment


  1. Birdieshooter August 24, 09:13

    the data for Germany are very different from the figures of the German Golf Association and are in my opinion not applicable and what I am most surprised at this statistic that there is no information on the number of golf courses that have been closed!

    Reply to this comment
  2. pete kook August 22, 12:59

    Would be nice to at least acknowledge the 200 golf courses in the small principality of Wales!

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment


Join Our Mailing List

Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

For editorial enquiries in the magazine or online, contact:


For advertising enquiries in the magazine or online, contact: