In May 2021, the R&A published its participation report.
Together with England Golf, Golf Ireland, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf, it reported a significant uptake despite the challenges of Covid-19.
The total number of people taking to the links increased by 2.1 million to 5.2 million (+61%) and the average age fell by five years to 41.
Golf is recognised as one of the safest activities for its reduced human contact, all the while providing a competitive, challenging and athletic test; so it’s not surprising to see an increase in participants.
Amidst the doom and gloom of the pandemic, recreational golf is clearly in a good place.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at the R&A, said, "We have seen a real surge in the number of golfers in Great Britain and Ireland playing the sport and this is reflected by the high demands for tee times and clubs reporting a strong interest in membership last year."
Whilst Covid seems to have birthed a new generation of golfers, it comes with its complications - manufacturing.
We caught up with TXG, one of the world’s leading providers of custom fit golf equipment, to understand just how this industry within an industry has been impacted.
A TXG spokesperson said, "Golf has been just as much affected as other industries around the world because of global chain issues.
"Supply chain chokepoints during a time in which the game is booming is a catch 22 situation for the industry.
"Manufacturers are slowly catching up but delays will still be felt well into 2022."
So what can we do, aside from taking advantage of the best Black Friday golf deals now?
"The best advice we can offer to golfers looking for equipment is if you want something now and you can have it in hand, it’s best not to delay purchasing."
As if we needed encouragement to buy new toys.
Whilst that is sound advice for stock equipment, the message isn’t quite as encouraging for custom fit clubs.
"Exercise patience with retailers. They are only the final messenger of the larger issue being faced day to day by suppliers.
"Everyone in the industry top to bottom is working their hardest to get product into golfer’s hands as quickly as possible."
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James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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