Golf - UK - March 2009
Golf is a sport and leisure pastime that is affected more by economic conditions than most, and given the severity of the current recession, the game is facing an uncertain 2009. A widely held view in the industry is that golf is recession-proof, and while this has proven to be true during past recessions, the current climate does not offer the same reassurances.
Data collated for this report suggests that memberships neither rose nor fell by any significant numbers over the past five years, but that masks changes that have occurred in the sport: either forced or organic. Few clubs now have waiting lists, but a declining number have joining fees. Many believe the game is not as conducive to modern life as time and cost are the major barriers, but golfers can now play shorter forms of the game or on simulators indoors. But is this enough to enable growth or do more considerable changes have to be implemented to minimise course closures and redundancies?
Amongst other, broader themes, this report examines how golf operators engage potential players, as well as identifying what existing golfers want, and what is stopping those who have the will to play but don’t from playing.
How many people play golf and is membership rising or falling?
How can the industry widen the playing base?
What effect will the current recession have on golf in 2009 and beyond?
Is the industry doing enough to attract lapsed and potential players to the sport?
Does a feeling of intimidation persist amongst non-golfers who want to play?
What changes do golfers want to see to make the game a more viable activity?
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