English Golf Courses

8.5 million people could take up golf

Independent research shows millions of people in the UK could be interested in taking up golf as a past time

A Comprehensive market research study that aims to helps clubs and courses retain, attract and grow their customer base has been published with some fascinating outcomes aimed at helping to grow the game in the UK.

The study, which was commissioned by Syngenta, surveyed a total of 3,622 UK residents, including 1,477 golfers and 2,145 non-golfers and lapsed players.

Key areas such as friendliness, flexibility, female participation, course conditions and the ease of getting into golf were examined by asking the participants with results suggesting over 8.5 million people are interested in taking up the game.

When it comes to encouraging golfers to play more, there were several aspects discussed that can be controlled by clubs.

A total of 14% said they would be encouraged to play more if there was a relaxed dress code; while 13% pinpointed a play more, save more initiative as something that would encourage them to get out on the course more often.

Another concept that came from the survey is the introduction of a nine-hole green fee that would give those suffering from time constraints the opportunity to enjoy playing golf.

From the group of lapsed golfers, over a third of those surveyed said they stopped playing because the overall cost of the game was too high, while 31% cited the length of time it takes to play as a major factor in their decision.

The survey also highlighted the importance of a having a good experience at a golf course, with 73% saying they had become aware of a new course through word of mouth, and 68% of golfers recommending their course or club to others due to their enjoyment playing there.

New players are key to the future of the game, and attracting them is becoming ever more important. Young players between the age of 15 and 25, and female golfers are key focus groups.

A staggering 75% of female golfers said they would play less if their friends stopped playing, while less than half of the women surveyed played more than one round per month.

Friends and family were also a key theme when it came to getting younger players into the game. More than 50% of non-golfing participants between the age of 15 and 25 said they would be more encouraged to give golf a try if more of their friends played, as well as if there was easy access to affordable golf lessons.

Meanwhile, 42% said they didn’t know how to get started playing the game. Among the golfers in that age range, amenities was a big focus, with a Sky Sports bar and indoor golf simulator rating high on the wishlists for the clubhouse.

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