England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have all seen drops in numbers of registered players between 2017 and 2018


Report Shows Bleak Golf Membership Numbers For UK&I

The number of golf club members in the UK and Ireland has dropped according to the KPMG Golf Participation Report for Europe.

The report looks at golf club members only via the countries’ respective golf associations, and shows how Europe has lost almost 25,000 registered players since 2017.

England, which has the largest number of registered golfers in Europe, has lost 10,688, and 1.63%, of its registered players between 2017 and 2018.

The numbers have fallen from 655,839 to 645,151.

However, in that time the country has seen 16 new registered courses, with the total number now up to 1,888 from 1,872.

The statistics are perhaps more bleak in Scotland, which lost 4% of its registered golfers between 2017 and 2018.

There were 187,802 Scottish golfers but now that number is down to 180,281.

Wales is similar with numbers down over 4% from 44,551 to 42,743.

Ireland, which also includes Northern Ireland due to the Golfing Union of Ireland encapsulating the entire island, has seen less of a fall in its players.

Numbers are down just 0.58% from 183,461 in 2017 to 182,398.

These figures are not purely based on golf participation as they do not take into account casual players or golfers who are not members of clubs.

Related: Survey shows positive UK golf participation numbers

Ireland has also lost 11 affiliated courses in that time, far more than any country – both Finland and Austria have lost five, which is the next-biggest number.

The nation with the second-highest number of registered golfers is Germany, which is just behind England with 642,240 – a number down just 0.42% on 2017.

Sweden has the third-largest number of golfers with 461,404, France the fourth with 412,726, Netherlands fifth with 396,299, Spain sixth with 269,470 and Ireland seventh.

Of the top-10 nations, just one has seen an increase in its number of golfers and that is the Netherlands, which has increased its number of players by 2.25% and 8,702.

Austria (5.88%), Norway (2.28%) and Italy (1.1%) are other high-profile nations to have increased their number of registered golfers.

One of the biggest drops in Europe is seen in Slovenia, which has lost over 48% of its players between 2017-2018, with numbers falling to 4,500 from 8,762.

Related: How many golf courses are there in the world?

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