Today KPMG Golf Advisory Practice has released a new edition of the report on Golf Participation in Europe. The fourth edition in the series of Golf Participation in Europe reports provides insights and analysis of current demand and supply trends in the golf industry across Europe over the past two years. This time KPMG overviewed 33 European golf markets and provided a snapshot of the current state and an outlook of golf in the region.
Despite the economic downturn and the decline in golf participation in recent years, golf maintains its popularity and significance in most European countries. In 2013, when the last Golf Participation Report was published, golf in Europe was suffering a very difficult time. The European golf market improved slightly in 2014, recording a slowdown in the decrease in golf participation as well as stabilisation in the number of available golf courses across Europe. We believe that the recent tentative European economic upturn and the continuing initiatives aimed at recruiting new members (which we address in this report) will have a positive impact on golf in Europe in 2015.
In over half of the European countries included the KPMG report, the number of registered golfers decreased in 2014. This includes key golf markets such as England, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Wales, Austria and Italy.
Central and Eastern European markets did not register such decreases in golf demand and supply as their neighbors. Big increases in golf participation were registered in Poland and Greece and moderate growth was recorded in the region’s most established golf market – the Czech Republic.
Following a decrease in the number of golf courses in Europe in 2013, during which there was a net change of 34, in 2014 the number of golf courses remained stable.
The majority of golf courses and registered golfers in Europe are primarily concentrated in the most established golf markets. 85% of all registered golfers and 82% of all golf courses are located in the top ten golf markets.
Across Europe, the golfing population continues to be dominated by male golfers, who in 2014 represented approximately 66% of all golfers (and increase from 63% in 2012). In 2014, female and junior golfers represented approximately 25% and 9% of all registered golfers respectively.
As Europe comes out of economic recession, the real position of golf as a leisure pastime will become apparent. The various initiatives that have been introduced to make golf attractive and appealing to a wider audience must continue and will hopefully bring more robust results.
Please download the Golf Participation in Europe publication from here.