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Golf Tourism - Ireland - January 2015

“With golf club memberships in decline and participation in golf low across Ireland – particularly in RoI – the sport will have to do more to adapt to lifestyles of modern consumers and offer less expensive and time-consuming ways to participate in the game. This will ensure the economic viability of clubs and courses, and drive future domestic golf tourism. However, in introducing any changes to the format of play, golf clubs and courses will have to ensure that they do not alienate their current player base.”
– David Falls, Research Analyst

This report answers the following questions:

  • What is the state of play for golf in Ireland?
  • What image do Irish consumers hold of golf?
  • What can be done to help attract non-golfing consumers to the game?
  • How popular are golfing holidays with Irish consumers?
  • What impact could the hosting of high-profile golfing events have on golf tourism?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key themes in the report
        • Definition
          • Data sources
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • The market
                  • Market factors
                    • Declining golf club memberships
                      • Less than half of Irish consumer watch golf
                        • Ireland’s portfolio of courses and events helps to position it as key golf destination
                          • Golf tourism in RoI benefiting from lower costs
                            • Innovations
                              • The consumer
                                • RoI consumers not engaged with golf
                                  • Figure 1: How often consumers play golf, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                • Fun is the main reason for play, while expense the key barrier
                                  • Figure 2: Reasons why consumers have played golf, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                  • Figure 3: Main reasons why consumers do not play golf, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                • Irish golfing consumers feel that Ireland has a good reputation for golf
                                  • Figure 4: Agreement with statements regarding golf tourism, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                    • What is the state of play for golf in Ireland?
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • What image do Irish consumers hold of golf?
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • What can be done to help attract non-golfing consumers to the game?
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • How popular are golfing holidays with Irish consumers?
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                            • What impact could the hosting of high-profile golfing events have on golf tourism?
                                                              • The facts
                                                                • The implications
                                                                • Trend Application

                                                                    • FSTR HYPR
                                                                      • Patriot Games
                                                                        • The Nouveau Poor
                                                                        • Market Overview

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Club membership continues to decline
                                                                              • Figure 5: Golf club membership in Ireland, 2004-14
                                                                            • Finances, time pressures and patterns of play likely driving decline
                                                                              • Figure 6: Average cost of household and utility bills and groceries, RoI, December 2013-November 2014
                                                                              • Figure 7: Average number of actual weekly hours of work in main job, full and part-time employees, UK (including NI) and RoI, 2009-13
                                                                            • Decline sharpest amongst juniors
                                                                              • Figure 8: Golf club membership in Ireland amongst men, women and juniors, 2004-14
                                                                            • Irish consumers more likely to watch golf live on TV than at an event
                                                                              • Figure 9: Methods of watching golf over the last 12 months, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                            • Irish women and younger consumers in RoI less likely to watch golf at all
                                                                              • Figure 10: Consumers who do not watch golf, by gender and age, NI and RoI, November 2013
                                                                            • Ireland’s golf product
                                                                              • Figure 11: Distribution of golf courses and links courses between NI and RoI
                                                                            • Ireland’s portfolio of golf events
                                                                              • Figure 12: Notable golf events hosted/to be hosted in Ireland, 2006-19
                                                                            • Developing and marketing Ireland’s golf product
                                                                              • Weakening euro a challenge to NI tourism
                                                                                • Figure 13: Value of euro to Pound Sterling, 2005-15
                                                                              • Tourism in RoI enjoying lower tax rates
                                                                              • Market Size

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • RoI attracts more non-domestic golfing visitors
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Non-domestic golf visitors, NI and RoI, 2010-13
                                                                                  • Non-domestic golfing tourists more lucrative
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Expenditure by non-domestic golf visitors, NI and RoI, 2010-13
                                                                                  • NI reliant on RoI and UK golfers; Britain the key source market for RoI
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Country of origin of non-domestic golf visitors to NI, 2013
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Country of origin of non-domestic golf visitors to RoI, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                  • RoI to benefit from improved air links to core golf source markets
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Total number of golfers in core golf markets as identified by Fáilte Ireland, 2014
                                                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                                  • Strengths
                                                                                    • Weaknesses
                                                                                    • Companies and Innovations

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Innovations
                                                                                          • Golf courses interested in super-sized holes
                                                                                            • ‘Golf Bicycles’ lead to a quicker round of golf
                                                                                              • Crowdsourcing local knowledge helps golfers improve their game
                                                                                                • Company profiles
                                                                                                  • Tourism authorities
                                                                                                    • Fáilte Ireland
                                                                                                      • Northern Ireland Tourist Board (Tourism Northern Ireland)
                                                                                                        • Tourism Ireland
                                                                                                          • Golf authorities
                                                                                                            • Confederation of Golf in Ireland
                                                                                                              • Golfing Union of Ireland
                                                                                                                • PGA (Irish Region)
                                                                                                                  • Golf tour operators and associations
                                                                                                                    • Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association
                                                                                                                      • Irish Tourism Group
                                                                                                                        • Irish Golf Tours
                                                                                                                          • JD Golf Tours
                                                                                                                            • Links Golf Ireland
                                                                                                                              • SWING (South West Ireland Golf Ltd)
                                                                                                                                • TheGolfPA.com
                                                                                                                                  • Golf resorts
                                                                                                                                    • Adare Manor
                                                                                                                                      • Carton House
                                                                                                                                        • Castlemartyr Resort
                                                                                                                                          • Druids Glen Resort
                                                                                                                                            • K Club
                                                                                                                                              • Lough Erne Golf & Hotel Resort
                                                                                                                                                • Roe Park
                                                                                                                                                  • Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, Ireland
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – How Engaged are Irish Consumers with Golf?

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • NI consumers more likely to be engaged with golf
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: How often consumers play golf, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Positive signs for the future of golf in NI, with 16-24-year-olds playing frequently
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Consumers who play golf once a month or more, by work status, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Poor outlook for attracting new players to the sport
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Agreement with the statement ‘I have never played golf and am not interested in playing in the future’, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • High level of churn amongst the over-45s
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Agreement with the statement ‘I have played golf in the past – but not in the last year’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • Overnight golf trips more likely amongst NI consumers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: If consumers have taken an overnight trip to play golf in Ireland or abroad in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Drivers and Barriers to Playing Golf

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Fun is the main reason Irish consumers play golf
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Reasons why consumers have played golf, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Expense the key barrier to play
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Main reasons why consumers do not play golf, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Agreement with the statement ‘It is too expensive’ as a reason for not playing golf, by social status, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Family and work constraints key barriers to play
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Agreement with the statement ‘I don’t have the time’ as a reason for not playing golf, by age of children in household, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • A third of RoI men don’t play due to concern they would not be good
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Agreement with the statement ‘I am not very good/ don’t think I would be good at playing golf’ as a reason for not playing golf, by gender and age, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Golf Tourism

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • RoI golfers more likely to think Ireland has a good reputation for golf
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Consumer attitudes towards golf tourism, NI and RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Self-employed and retired consumers in NI are more likely find a holiday to just play golf appealing
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Agreement with the statement ‘Taking a holiday just to play golf appeals to me’, by work status, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Almost half of NI golfing consumers are more interested in taking a golf holiday abroad
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be more interested in taking a golf holiday abroad than in Ireland (eg Scotland)’, by gender, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Over half of golfing consumers would take an overnight trip to spectate at a high-profile event
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take an overnight trip to spectate at a high-profile golf tournament/ competition’, by work status, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • Over half of golfing consumers would like to visit golf resorts/ destinations featured in televised tournaments
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Consumers who agreed with the statement ‘Seeing golf resorts/destinations in Ireland featured on televised golf tournaments makes me want to visit them’, by gender, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                          • NI Toluna tables
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: How often consumers play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: How often consumers play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: If consumers have taken an overnight trip to play golf in Ireland or abroad in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: The main reasons why consumers play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: The main reasons why consumers play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: The main reasons why consumers play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: The main reasons why consumers do not play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: The main reasons why consumers do not play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: The main reasons why consumers do not play golf, by demographics, NI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Agreement with the statement ‘Ireland has a good reputation for golf’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take an overnight trip to spectate at a high-profile golf tournament/ competition’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Agreement with the statement ‘All the attention on Irish golfers in the last 12 months has made me more interested in the game’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Agreement with the statement ‘A golf holiday is not suitable as a family holiday’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Agreement with the statement ‘Taking a holiday just to play golf appeals to me’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Agreement with the statement ‘I would never travel to a destination just to play golf’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Agreement with the statement ‘A golfing holiday would be more expensive than a normal holiday’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Agreement with the statement ‘Deal-of-the-day websites (eg Groupon) are good for arranging golf trips’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Agreement with the statement ‘Seeing golf resorts/destinations in Ireland featured on televised golf tournaments makes me want to visit them’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be more interested in taking a golf holiday abroad than in Ireland (eg Scotland)’, by demographics, NI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                          • RoI Toluna tables
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: How often consumers play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: How often consumers play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: If consumers have taken an overnight trip to play golf in Ireland or abroad in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: The main reasons why consumers play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 57: The main reasons why consumers play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 58: The main reasons why consumers play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 59: The main reasons why consumers do not play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: The main reasons why consumers do not play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: The main reasons why consumers do not play golf, by demographics, RoI, October 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Agreement with the statement ‘Ireland has a good reputation for golf’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to take an overnight trip to spectate at a high-profile golf tournament/ competition’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Agreement with the statement ‘All the attention on Irish golfers in the last 12 months has made me more interested in the game’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Agreement with the statement ‘A golf holiday is not suitable as a family holiday’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Agreement with the statement ‘Taking a holiday just to play golf appeals to me’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Agreement with the statement ‘I would never travel to a destination just to play golf’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Agreement with the statement ‘A golfing holiday would be more expensive than a normal holiday’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Agreement with the statement ‘Deal-of-the-day websites (eg Groupon) are good for arranging golf trips’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Agreement with the statement ‘Seeing golf resorts/destinations in Ireland featured on televised golf tournaments makes me want to visit them’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be more interested in taking a golf holiday abroad than in Ireland (eg Scotland)’, by demographics, RoI, October 2014

                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                        Golf Tourism - Ireland - January 2015

                                                                                                                                                        £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)