Golf participation experienced another surge in 2023

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 7, 2024 08:48

Golf participation in the United Kingdom and Ireland experienced another surge in 2023, as revealed by data from BRS Golf, shedding light on the sport’s resilience and popularity even after the pandemic boom years.

Record member rounds

BRS Golf processed a staggering 25.6 million member rounds throughout 2023, marking an 860,000-round increase from 2022, a 2.6 million round surge from 2021, and an impressive 12.1 million growth compared to pre-Covid levels in 2019.

This equates to a three percent year-on-year growth and an astounding 90 percent increase since 2019, showcasing golf’s undeniable upward trajectory.

Regional breakdown

Member rounds by country showcased England leading the charge with 12.53 million rounds, followed by Ireland with 5.52 million, Scotland with 3.29 million, Northern Ireland with 1.82 million and Wales with 1.36 million rounds. Despite unpredictable weather patterns, including the wettest July since records began, the overall number of member rounds increased by three percent across the UK and Ireland.

Taking a closer look at regional growth, the north of England maintained a steady performance, the Midlands saw a six percent uptick, and the south experienced a marginal one percent decline. Notably, Ireland and Northern Ireland exhibited a four percent growth, Scotland soared with an eight percent increase, and Wales witnessed an impressive six percent growth, reaching a staggering 184 percent compared to 2019.

GolfNow’s contribution

In tandem with BRS Golf, GolfNow played a pivotal role in supporting the golfing community, generating a whopping £13 million in visitor green fee revenue for course partners. The platform saw a strong demand for visitor tee times, processing over one million rounds and recording a three percent increase in average basket value compared to 2022.

GolfNow’s 190,000 app downloads underscores the increasing reliance on technology for booking tee times, with 67 percent of bookings made through the app. The platform welcomed 162,000 unique bookers, including 66,000 new bookers, signalling a growing interest in visitor golf and accessibility.

A tech giant’s impact

BRS Golf and GolfNow collectively provide tee time booking solutions to 1,500 golf clubs across England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, making them a powerhouse of participation data in the British Isles. Their comprehensive data not only reflects the current state of golf but also points towards a promising future for the sport. The sample set of golf clubs has remained pretty stable over the last few years, so is a reliable source of data, with no material changes affecting the numbers.

As golf continues to thrive, BRS Golf and GolfNow stand as crucial contributors to the golfing community, leveraging technology to facilitate seamless experiences and drive unprecedented growth across the UK and Ireland.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 7, 2024 08:48
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  1. Tomo February 7, 12:39

    Are you going to publish golf club membership numbers?

    Reply to this comment
  2. Golf/Ski Industry Aficionado February 7, 12:12

    Love to see it!! Great to see Curracloe coming into development!

    Reply to this comment
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