Rounds of golf are up 73% compared with 2019

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 2, 2022 12:17

New data has found that the number of rounds of golf played in the UK and Ireland this year is up significantly on 2019’s levels – suggesting that the pandemic surge is having a long lasting effect on participation.

Software supplier BRS Golf analysed the number of rounds it processed between April, May and June 2022, and compared it to the previous three years.

Most golf courses reopened after a three month lockdown at the end of March 2021 so perhaps it’s not surprising that the results show a decrease by 19 percent in the number of rounds played.

There is an increase of 36 percent against 2020’s rounds of golf, but this is skewed by the fact that almost all UK golf clubs were not allowed to open for play for at least half of the three months.

Arguably the year that is the most relevant comparator is therefore the pre-pandemic year of 2019, and it shows the number of rounds – just over seven million – is up by nearly three quarters.

“The reopening of the country in July 2021 has meant golf now needs to compete for members’ attention,” says BRS. “The fact that member rounds are still up significantly on 2019 shows that clubs have engaged and retained new members well.”

In addition, the data shows green fee revenue generated through GolfNow’s marketplace is up 23 percent from three years ago.

The research also finds that more than one in four golfers are women (an increase from 140,000 women in 2018 to 210,000 this year), and a similar fraction are aged 18 to 35.

It also shows that the shift towards more weekday play during the pandemic has ended, with golfers again preferring to play at the weekend.

“As golfers return to their pre-pandemic schedules, they have shifted away from weekday play and back to weekends,” says BRS. “Week day play is still up on 2019, but down on 2020 which will always be an outlier year with so many working from home or on furlough.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 2, 2022 12:17
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