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UK golf in figures

24 February 2017
We take a statistical look at golfing in the UK – from who’s playing to what they’re paying…
UK golf in figures
Golf is a game of numbers, from the score on your card to the length of your drive. So we decided to delve a little deeper into the game as it stands in the UK using statistics, figures and facts.

Who’s playing? 
  • England still has the most golfers. England has the most registered golfers and most courses in Europe, with 16% of all players across the continent.
  • Game for retirement. Those over 65 still make up the biggest group of golfers. They were the fastest growing age group between 2014 and 2016.
  • Big in Germany. Germany (220,000) has nearly twice as many female golfers as the Netherlands (121,000), the next highest number.
  • The Young Turks. Turkey has biggest proportion of junior golfers (44%) in Europe.

How are you playing?

  • Seven days a week. The most popular memberships in the UK are seven-day ones.
  • Going social. Social, intermediate, student and five-day memberships are now offered by around two-thirds of golf clubs.
  • Thanking the Academy. Since 2014 there has been a growth in the number of junior and adult academy memberships offered.
  • Family-friendly fun. Family friendly clubs – with crèche or play areas – saw a 40% boost in membership between 2014 and 2016.
  • Day out. Golf is the sixth most popular reason for taking a day trip in the UK.

Where are you playing?
  • A walk in the park. UK golf courses cover roughly the same area as the Lake District National Park – around 2,300 sq kms.
  • The new home of golf? England is home to more than a quarter of all European golf courses, compared to Scotland, which has 5% of players and 9% of courses.
  • On course for growth. The number of European courses grew by 0.2% between 2014 and 2015.
  • Double Dutch. Holland has seen the biggest increase in golf courses in Europe.
  • Colder climes. Scotland and Iceland are the only European countries that have fewer than 10,000 people per course.
  • Café culture. The most in-demand extra facility that would attract new members to a golf club is a café. 

What are you paying?

  • Bigger spenders. Golf contributes around £3 billion to the UK economy every year.
  • Splashing out on holiday. Golfers spend around £370 million a year while on holiday playing the game – more than watersports and cycling.
  • Leave it all on the course. More than half of all golf spend is at golf courses. Equipment and clothing accounts for £939 million.
  • Big money prizes. Sky pays £15m a year to broadcast the UK Open.
  • Hosting the Open. Hosting the event can be worth £140m to the local economy.