Golf continues to prove popular in Great Britain, with ten percent more rounds of golf played in the first nine months of the year than in the equivalent period in 2021.
This is despite a small four percent drop in year-on-year play rates between July and September. It should however be remembered that the summer of 2021 was atypical, with rounds played experiencing an extended bounce after the lockdowns earlier in the year.
Continued strong participation in the UK
Contrasting against pre-lockdown years, Q3 2022 rounds were up 40 percent against 2019. Q3 was boosted by a drier than average July and August, but this alone does not account for the strong enduring appetite for golf.
The results can therefore be read as another indicator of strong ongoing participation. The North was the strongest performing region in 2022, recording one percent growth against the very strong third quarter of 2021.
“Golf continues to be a sport attractive across all levels of the game”
Richard Payne, Director at Sporting Insights, said: “This has been another good quarter for golf. The similarity in results between 2021 and 2022 suggests to us that golf is reaching a new normal baseline, which would be great news, because that normal is clearly a step up on where the game found itself before the pandemic. However, we are certainly not getting complacent because we know that the cost of living crisis is going to impact on leisure, putting pressure on memberships and green fee visits alike. What’s clear though is that golf is in a much better position to weather this storm thanks to the industry’s efforts over the last two years.”
Those efforts include work from The R&A to promote the links between golf and health. Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, added, “It is again encouraging to see the positive data for rounds played in Great Britain for the third quarter of 2022.
“Golf was on the rise pre-pandemic and this latest data highlights how golf continues to be a sport attractive across all levels of the game through various formats. It is important for the sport to maintain this momentum and we are pushing initiatives such as the benefits of golf for your health strongly to continue to drive growth.”
Since 2000, Sporting Insights (previously known as Sports Marketing Surveys) has tracked rounds played at commercial golf courses across mainland Great Britain.
As part of Sporting Insights’ ongoing partnership with The Revenue Club, the Q3 report includes an additional section that looks at the booking channel trends from the 140 clubs that they work with.
(Text: Sporting Insights)