Scottish Golf, the national governing body for the sport in Scotland, has finalised its 2021 review and published the findings. Within, it reports the popularity at the Home of Golf continues to rise with nine clubs reporting an annual membership increase of over 100%.
In total, over 207,000 people are now said to hold a playing membership – up 7.3% from 2020. Membership increases were most popular in the Adult Male category however, the Adult Female and Junior (both Male and Female) categories also saw marginal increases against the prior year.
The figures provide a confident endorsement of the game’s popularity in Scotland but are not without challenge. As stated within the report, “The challenge for 2022 will be to ensure golf retains those new players and encourages even more growth both for the health of the game and for golf clubs.”
The results continue to show the trajectory of golf’s increasing popularity within the UK. A recent survey carried out by accountancy firm Hillier Hopkins revealed that the number of new members in 2021 was very similar to the figures reported in 2020, with an average per club of 91 compared to 93. That said, 49% of clubs stated they have membership greater than 600, an increase from 43% in 2020 and 38% in 2019. It also revealed that 60% of golf clubs across the UK now have a waiting list, compared to just 22% in 2019.
Golf participation skyrocketed during the global pandemic, largely as it is recognised as one of the safest activities for its reduced human contact, all the while providing a competitive, challenging and athletic test. Amidst the doom and gloom of the pandemic, recreational golf is clearly in a good place.
Read the Scottish Golf Annual Report in full and check out more from the Hillier Hopkins LLP Survey:
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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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