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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.

Main issues

  • 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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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • A more complete branded offer
              • Mintel Inspire
                • Opportunity
                  • Selling the game of golf
                    • Broadening appeal of the golf club
                      • Update and modernise the golf offer
                        • Mintel Inspire
                          • Opportunity
                            • An incentive for buying a home
                              • Improve your life and play golf
                                • Mintel Inspire
                                  • Opportunity
                                  • Market in Brief

                                    • A quarter of all golfers are members of clubs
                                      • The full effects of the recession yet to be felt
                                        • A declining interest in golf in the media…
                                          • …and participation
                                            • Innovations keep players interested
                                              • Course and golfer distribution
                                                • Potential golfers on the wane?
                                                  • Tapping into this potential
                                                    • Time and cost the major barriers
                                                    • Internal Market Environment

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • TV coverage of golf
                                                          • Figure 1: Television coverage of golf, by channel, 2004-08
                                                        • Media interest in golf
                                                          • Figure 2: Trends in individual sports watched on TV over the last 12 months, 2004-08
                                                          • Figure 3: Frequency of watching different sports live in a pub, bar or club, 2008
                                                        • The printed golf media
                                                          • Figure 4: Leading golf magazines, by total average net circulation in UK & RoI, January-June 2008
                                                          • Figure 5: Trends in individual sports read about in newspapers over the last 12 months, 2004-08
                                                        • Course development and the ‘demand deficit’
                                                          • Recent survey findings and measures to counter the decline
                                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Figure 6: Personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2003-13
                                                            • How will the recession impact golf?
                                                              • What the UK can learn from the US
                                                                • Is golf directly related to income?
                                                                  • Figure 7: Adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2003-13
                                                                • Targeting the mid-20s
                                                                  • Figure 8: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2003-13
                                                                • Are family constraints a major barrier to golf?
                                                                  • Figure 9: Adult population trends, by lifestage, 2003-13
                                                                • Betting
                                                                  • Figure 10: Trends in betting and gambling regularly/occasionally, 2006-08
                                                                • Golfing holidays
                                                                  • Figure 11: Sort of last holiday taken, by domestic or international, 2008
                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Leisure expenditure
                                                                    • Figure 12: Consumer expenditure on selected leisure goods and activities, 2003-08
                                                                  • Sports club membership
                                                                    • Figure 13: Trends in the sports clubs belonged to, 2004-08
                                                                  • Regular/occasional sport participation
                                                                    • Figure 14: Trends in sports taken part in regularly/occasionally over the previous 12 months, 2004-08
                                                                    • Figure 15: Regular and occasional golfers over the previous 12 months, by age, 2008
                                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                    • Strengths
                                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • High-tech golf balls
                                                                            • FlightScope – Radar and golf?
                                                                              • No more lost balls
                                                                                • Kangaroo providing on course TV coverage
                                                                                • Number of Golfers

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Golf club membership
                                                                                      • Figure 16: Golf club membership in England, Scotland and Wales, 2003-08
                                                                                    • Membership by country
                                                                                      • Figure 17: Number of golf club members in Great Britain, by country, 2003-08
                                                                                      • Figure 18: Golfers in England by type, 2003-08
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Golfers in Scotland by type, 2003-08
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Golfers in Wales by type, 2003-08
                                                                                    • Some initiatives to boost membership
                                                                                    • Distribution of Golf Courses

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Golf courses by type
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Estimated distribution of UK golf courses, by size, as at December 2008
                                                                                      • Number of Golf Courses

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Number of golf courses by country
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Number of golf courses in Great Britain, by country, 2003-08
                                                                                          • Average number of members per club
                                                                                            • Figure 23: Average number of members per club, by country, 2003-08
                                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                                            • Golf course operators
                                                                                              • Crown Golf Limited
                                                                                                • The Club Company
                                                                                                  • The Burhill Golf and Leisure Limited
                                                                                                    • Other operators
                                                                                                      • Indoor golf operators
                                                                                                        • Powerplay golf
                                                                                                          • Equipment manufacturers
                                                                                                            • Callaway Golf
                                                                                                              • Hippo Golf
                                                                                                                • Acushnet Company
                                                                                                                  • TaylorMade Golf Company, Inc.
                                                                                                                    • Retailers
                                                                                                                      • American Golf Corporation
                                                                                                                        • JJB Sports
                                                                                                                          • Nevada Bob’s
                                                                                                                            • Associations
                                                                                                                              • The Professional Golfers Association (PGA)
                                                                                                                                • The Royal & Ancient (R&A)
                                                                                                                                  • English Golf Union
                                                                                                                                    • English Women's Golf Association (EWGA)
                                                                                                                                      • Golfing Union of Ireland
                                                                                                                                        • Scottish Golf Union
                                                                                                                                          • The Golf Union of Wales
                                                                                                                                          • Type of Golfer

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Level of involvement in golf
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Golf playing habits and intentions, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                                                                              • A bleak outlook for attracting potentials
                                                                                                                                                • Young, free and pretty well off
                                                                                                                                                  • Homing in on the potentials
                                                                                                                                                    • Can the lapsed be brought back?
                                                                                                                                                    • Golfers’ Attitudes Towards Golf

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes towards golf
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Golfers’ attitudes towards golf, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes by frequency of golfer
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Attitudes towards golf, by type of golfer, 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Why Golfers Stopped Playing

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Factors that have stopped golfers from playing, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • What Appeals to Prospective Golfers?

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Aspects of golf that appeal to potential golfers, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Barriers According to Non-golfers

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Factors that have stopped potential golfers playing in the past, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • How Can Golf Tap into its Potential?

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Factors that might entice lapsed and potential golfers into playing in the future, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Lapsed and potential golfers and possible attractions to playing golf
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Factors that might entice lapsed and potential golfers into playing in the future, by type of golfer, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                        • Watching golf in a pub or bar – by demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Frequency of watching golf live in a pub, bar or club, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • How concerns of the British population have shifted over the past year/two months
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: How concerns of the British population have shifted over the past year/two months, 2008-09
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: How people’s concerns have changed over the past year, February 2008-January 2009
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: How people’s concerns have changed over the past two months, February 2008-January 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Betting and gambling regularly/occasionally – by demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Demographics of betting and gambling regularly/occasionally, 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Golf holidays/last holiday taken – by demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Demographics for sort of last holiday taken, 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Demographics of sort of last holiday taken, 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                                        • Those who belong to clubs by demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Sports clubs belonged to, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Other sports clubs belonged to, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Regular and occasional golfing
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Trends in golf taken part in regularly and occasionally over the previous 12 months, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                        • Regular and occasional golfers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Regular and occasional golfers over the previous 12 months, by demographic sub-group, 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Segment Performance

                                                                                                                                                        • Distribution of golf courses
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Distribution of other golf courses, by size, as at December 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Distribution of UK golf courses, by type of course, as at December 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Distribution of other UK golf courses, by type of course, as at December 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Type of Golfer

                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers’ playing habits and intentions – demographic analysis
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Golf playing habits and intentions, by demographic sub-group, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – What Appeals to Prospective Golfers?

                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Aspects of golf that appeal to potential golfers, by gender, age, socio-economic group, region, household income, commercial TV viewing, daily internet usage, daily newspaper readership and supermarket usage, 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Targeting the Primary and Secondary Potentials

                                                                                                                                                        • Number of barriers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Number of factors (enticements) that might entice potential golfers to play in the future, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Factors (enticements) that might entice potential golfers to play in the future, by factors that have stopped them, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Factors (enticements) that might entice potential golfers to play in the future, by gender, age, socio-economic group, region, household income, commercial TV viewing, daily internet usage, daily newspaper readership and supermarket usage

                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                      • American Golf Discount Centre Ltd
                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                      • Audit Bureau of Circulations
                                                                                                                                                      • Bauer Consumer Media
                                                                                                                                                      • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                      • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                                                      • British Phonographic Industry Ltd (The) [BPI]
                                                                                                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                      • Butlins Skyline Limited
                                                                                                                                                      • Callaway Golf Company
                                                                                                                                                      • Center Parcs
                                                                                                                                                      • Channel 4
                                                                                                                                                      • De Vere Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                      • ELSPA
                                                                                                                                                      • English Golf Union
                                                                                                                                                      • English Ladies' Golf Association
                                                                                                                                                      • European Golf Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Fortune Brands, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • FourFourTwo
                                                                                                                                                      • Freeview
                                                                                                                                                      • Hippo Golf (Europe)
                                                                                                                                                      • IPC Media Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                      • ITV plc
                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                      • JJB Sports Plc
                                                                                                                                                      • Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU)
                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                                                                                                                      • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                      • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                      • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                      • Original Shoe Company Ltd
                                                                                                                                                      • Professional Golfers Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Qube Footwear Limited
                                                                                                                                                      • Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews
                                                                                                                                                      • Setanta Sports
                                                                                                                                                      • Sport England
                                                                                                                                                      • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                      • The Society of London Theatre [SOLT]
                                                                                                                                                      • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                      • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                      • West Coast Capital
                                                                                                                                                      • WH Smith PLC
                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                      Golf - UK - March 2009

                                                                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)