New Report Shows Golf Participation In Europe Has Risen To Over 10 Million

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There’s no denying that golf has increased in popularity over the last 18 months. Don’t believe us? Well in a recent report published by The R&A and the European Golf Association (EGA), it states that there are now over 10.6 million people enjoying golf in Europe, a healthy increase from the 7.9 million last monitored in 2016.

Using research conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys, it presents a more representative view of everyone who plays golf on a full-length course (9 or 18 holes). The report combines the number of registered club members and independent golfers in each country to provide a measure of total golfers playing the sport.

Thanks to the in-depth research, it is now showing that a whopping 2.7 million extra people have taken up the game since 2016.

Golf Participation Increase

England now has over 4.5 million total golfers.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The breakdown of the total golfer community combined across Europe also reveals there are more independent golfers (59%) compared to those golfers registered as a member with their national federation (41%), highlighting the different ways golf is being played.

The research also shows that 73% of national federations in Europe recorded a growth in registration from 2019 to 2021, with the total number of registered golfers rising by more than 190,000 from 4.13 million to 4.32 million (a 4.6% growth).

One important factor is that new golfers are enjoying positive experiences of the sport, supported by a wide range of participation initiatives. The ability for golf to be played safely during the Covid-19 pandemic to boost mental and physical health for participants was also a big plus point.

Golf Participation Increase

Golf has almost benefitted during the pandemic.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “An overall rise in golf participation is always encouraging and, with over 10.6 million golfers now enjoying the sport on full-length courses across Europe, it is clear to see that a wide range of initiatives are having a positive impact and that golfers are enjoying the health benefits the sport provides.

“We believe that counting independent golfers, together with those who are registered as club members, gives a more accurate view of the total number of golfers playing on a full-length course each year and reflects how the sport is being played from country to country.”

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