Younger people now dominate the pay-and-play golf market

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 3, 2020 06:53

There has been a seismic shift in golfing demographics in the UK this summer, new figures reveal, as younger golfers have become the dominant buyers of green fees for the first time.

According to figures collated by The Revenue Club, previously the age group most likely to buy a green fee at a golf club was 65-plus.

In June 2019, 24 percent of visitor golfers were in this category.

However, in June 2020 the age category most likely to pay-and-play at a golf club was people aged 24 to 34.

This age range made up 28 percent of all buyers of green fees.

The 18 to 24 age range also made up 15 percent of all green fee purchases in June – an age range that had “not even registered historically” said a spokesman.

 

Furthermore, the average price of a green fee at a UK golf club rose by nearly £5 to £24.73 during May to August.

This is the biggest rise ever over a period of one season and reflects both the huge demand there has been to play golf and the need for golf venues to bring in extra revenue to make up for lockdown shortfalls.

The figures, from online sales at 140 private members’ and proprietary clubs, also show that the majority of golf clubs clawed back the deficit they made during the forced closure of their courses within six weeks of reopening.

“It is worth noting that a higher proportion of June’s visitor sales were at an off-peak time due to the majority of peak times being taken by members, which makes the rate increases even more significant. The challenge for UK clubs is to maintain these higher prices in order to make the future of the industry much more sustainable,” said the spokesman.

“The key focus for the industry is now to retain these new and lapsed golfers that have been playing. Data collection will be key in order to continue to engage with them through targeted and cost effective marketing, and to ensure they become part of a new customer base that helps to secure the future of the game.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 3, 2020 06:53
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7 Comments

  1. Greishaber September 7, 18:51

    Seeing the same here in WA USA!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Turfgrass September 6, 13:31

    It would be nice to keep this trend going Alistair.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Mark M September 4, 16:38

    That is what we are seeing here in Australia too, people in their late 20s and 30s taking up the game for the first time. What every club has been striving for is reversing the trend of an aging membership.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Griffin September 3, 11:27

    Fantastic news and my local range would testify to the demographic. But will they stick at it?…..younger folks are notorious for what time poor, flip on trends, don’t want stiff private club rules, interview to join in your suit and tie, they like to wear what they want – which may be T shirt and shorts, they like to play music whilst playing or practicing……..will this spike in newbies convert into full members? Unless they take tuition and join a club, my observation is they could slip away as fast as they arrived. IMHO…I hope I am wrong!

    Reply to this comment
  5. The Revenue Club September 3, 11:22

    Thanks for spreading the word Alistair, good to have the opportunity to share some of the data collated in REPORTS.GOLF from the sales at our partner clubs. There have certainly been some notable trends in the past few months that bode really well for the future of the industry.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Lily September 3, 11:13

    Great news for the golf industry!! ⛳️

    Reply to this comment
  7. Drabble September 3, 10:50

    Excellent news for the golf industry. It’s the injectionthat was needed to get numbers back out and playing this great sport

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