English Golf Courses

Rounds played 'decrease'

Drop in amount of golf played in GB during last three months of 2015

New research has shown that the average number of rounds of golf played across England, Wales and Scotland during the final quarter of 2015 was down 7% on the equivalent period in 2014.

The findings from industry-leading analysts SMS INC, showed that all regions suffered a decrease in rounds played during this quarter as compared to the same period the year before. This resulted in the positive start to 2015 being cancelled out and the year-end monthly average finishing level with 2014.

Nationally, rounds were up in October by 5%, but this was overshadowed by the November and December figures, which resulted in an overall decrease. The North suffered the worst results, with November and December seeing reductions of almost 30% compared with rounds played in he final quarter of 2014.

This can, in part, be attributed to the heavy rainfall and damaging storms that descended upon the UK during what was the warmest December since 1910. Scotland saw the best results, with a decrease of just 2.2% compared to the year before.

Another factor that may have had some influence on the number of rounds played was the Rugby World Cup which ran throughout October, and featured regular coverage of the home nations.


Commenting on the findings, SMS INC’s senior manager Richard Payne said: “Whilst the deluge of rain rendered golf almost unplayable at the end of the year throughout the country, it is imperative that we put 2015’s total performance in perspective and take note that rounds played remained stable with 2014 which at the time was the best year since 2010.

“This stability, after successive years of decline, is a positive and one that the industry is well placed to capitalise on in 2016 with several new initiatives.”

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