Club membership increased in England in 2023

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 5, 2024 12:18

The chief executive of England Golf has revealed club membership in 2023 increased slightly from the previous year.

This is remarkable because membership soared during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and was expected to fall back considerably when it ended.

However, while there was a slight drop in membership numbers from about 737,000 to about 720,000 in 2022, England Golf has revealed that in 2023 – the year the pandemic officially ended – the number, during a cost-of-living crisis, rose to 722,000.

Speaking on The NCG Golf Podcast, Jeremy Tomlinson said: “Nobody would ever have wished for a pandemic. But the effect that it had on golf club membership, the effect that it had on people actually wanting to have playing rights, was incredible. Golf club membership had stagnated.

“What happened was through the pandemic, through Covid times, people really became a lot more self-aware with regards to their own health.

“It became, ‘how can I improve my health?’ and, of course, golf is the most wonderful game, both mentally and physically, from a health benefit perspective.

“People really grabbed hold of that. The great thing to see is they’ve continued to want that and the desire is still very much there.

“[For] ourselves as the governing body, [it’s] doing anything and everything we can to help golf clubs and counties to really keep that revival going, to inspire even more members and to inspire even more players, which has happened.”

Tomlinson added: “I think what people are investing in is themselves.

“What the pandemic did, from a high level perspective in many different walks of life, was people looked at themselves in the mirror and were saying, ‘what do I want in life? What do I want out of my job? What do I want out of my social life? What do I want for myself from a health perspective?’

Jeremy Tomlinson

“I think people are just investing in themselves. I think that drive to invest in themselves is then driving golf clubs in a different direction

“It’s woken a lot of golf clubs up to saying, ‘we really enjoy having all these new members, we enjoy having a full membership, we’ve got a bit more money to play with. Let’s do all that we can to try to keep this thing going.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 5, 2024 12:18
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