Report Shows Bleak Golf Membership Numbers For UK&I

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
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x