2020 has probably already seen more golf rounds than 2019

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 20, 2020 10:00

A new survey of 75 golf clubs suggests that the UK has probably already seen more rounds of golf played this year than in the whole of 2019, even though most courses were closed for about two months.

The SMS research shows that the 75 British clubs saw an average growth of rounds played of over 40 percent compared to July 2019.

This is particularly significant because the second quarter figures compared with 2019 showed an overall 23 percent drop in the number of rounds played – the biggest fall ever for that quarter. 

However, the months measured were April, May and June – of which golf was in lockdown for more than six weeks. Broken down per month, they showed a 100 percent decline in April, a 27 percent drop in May and a 61 percent rise in June. The increase in June was so large that it was stated at the time that if the June figures were repeated in July then the UK golf industry would have equalled the participation figure for the whole of 2019 by late July. It’s now clear that the figures for July are almost as strong as they were for June.

Richard Payne, who spearheads SMS’ golf research, commented: “It’s immensely pleasing to see that the rounds played recovery going from strength to strength.

“We know how hard golf courses across Great Britain have worked to make themselves Covid secure and welcoming to members and visitors alike, so they more than deserve to reap the rewards of that now.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the new normal, both good and bad. SMS believe that busy thriving golf courses can become a part of that new normal, and the challenge for the industry is to keep up the good work and convert new players to the game to make that a reality.”

The poll of 75 clubs is a preliminary survey, and the results of the full research, based on 200 UK golf clubs, will be published in due course.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 20, 2020 10:00
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