Rounds of golf sees only a slight fall on 2021’s levels

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 17, 2022 11:49

The first quarterly year-on-year golf participation research which isn’t hampered by course lockdowns shows a slight drop but significant growth compared with long-term data.

The SMS figures for rounds of golf played in Great Britain in April, May and June 2022 show a less than ten percent fall compared to the same quarter in 2021.

England has not had a golf lockdown since the end of March 2021, so it is the first time since 2019 that quarterly comparisons are not distorted by venues closed due to the Covid pandemic.

The average number of rounds of golf played at courses across Great Britain was down nine percent compared to the second quarter of 2021 (and up 24 percent for the first half of the year). Despite this, the numbers continue to highlight huge growth above pre-pandemic levels.

Viewed in their fuller historical context, the second quarter 2022 figures represent a strong industry performance. April and May’s national rounds were the highest in the last five years with the exception of 2021.

This explains why rounds played remain up 19 percent in that quarter compared to 2019.

The north was the best performing region in those three months of 2022, down only one percent compared to 2021, but up 51 percent against 2019.

“We do expect growth against 2021 to continue to slow in the second half of the year”, cautioned Richard Payne, director of SMS.

“Q2 2021 was an exceptional time, with the release from lockdown but still widespread working from home. We also expect the cost of living crisis to have an effect on leisure spend, in golf and other sports. This is likely to affect visitor rounds and equipment sales first, with many having already paid memberships for the rest of 2022, but there will undoubtedly be pressure on renewals in the coming months. So, whether rounds played can remain above 2019 is, in our view, one of the key metrics to look out for over the next six months and into 2023.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 17, 2022 11:49
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