Comment: ‘Golf participation saw a boom after both world wars’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 31, 2020 11:16

The Ancient Greek poet Pindar wrote that ‘war is sweet to those who haven’t experienced it’.

As most global leaders have said, their nation is currently at war, against an invisible enemy, and we’re all experiencing it – including the golf industry.

Following years of turmoil ranging from people spending less on golf club memberships after the financial crash in 2008 to several cases of flooding, this seems particularly cruel timing.

We don’t know if the guidance that people should not play golf will last for days or months and, like most industries, there is a prevalence of fear and uncertainty about the short-term future.

However, there is some support.

Depending on the type of golf club and where it is located, there are government schemes you can apply for that could provide emergency financial assistance:

Our website at is also providing regular updates on financial support as soon as it becomes available.

And COVID-19 has brought out the best in some clubs. We’ve seen venues opening up their courses to walkers so that they can get daily exercise and there have even been facilities with hotels offering their beds to the NHS.

Unlike other wars, we already know the result of this one – we will win, we just don’t know yet what the cost will be.

It is said that after World War One and another pandemic, golf participation around the world doubled during the ‘Roaring Twenties’, and the game became so popular that handicapping was standardised, the Ryder Cup started and the Open Championship began charging people to attend.

After World War Two golf experienced another boom – leading golf magazines were founded in the late 1940s and by the early 1950s, when economic growth was rapid, the LPGA was founded and major tournaments started being televised.

The coronavirus has meant we are experiencing the bitter and sour taste of war. But it won’t be for long and the recovery will be sweet.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 31, 2020 11:16
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  1. djm April 1, 13:57

    & that……… is the sight & sound of straws being clutched

    Reply to this comment
    • Alistair Dunsmuir Author April 2, 08:34


      But I’ve also heard someone say they will take up golf and join their local club when all this is over – because they’ve been walking around the course for their daily exercise and been inspired by the serenity and views. Plus I’ve been told that children have been playing more online golf games in the last two weeks – surely many of them will now want to try this out for real?

      Reply to this comment
  2. Petra April 1, 10:34

    Let’s hope it will be that way

    Reply to this comment
  3. Richard S March 31, 17:26

    It would be nice to see this happen…

    Reply to this comment
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