September 21, 2019

The Popularity of Golf

Have you heard of Tiger Woods? How about Jack Nicklaus? These are just two of the many legendary names that have graced the sport of golf. We can often see how popular a sport is based on the reactions it provokes. One of the sure signs is online betting.

Show me a golfer, and I’ll show you at least a dozen punters whipping out their phones and using the Coral sign-up offer, or another fine promotional bonus because they know in their hearts how the match will turn out. How popular has golf been in recent years? Let’s find out together.

The Spread

According to the report released by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club in 2017, most of the golf courses in the world can be found in the USA. Following closely behind are the Canadians and the Japanese. Oceania and the British Isles have a very solid presence, whereas large parts of Africa and Asia have little to no interest in the sport.

The Development

Even though we’ve mentioned that Asia has few golf courses, the continent has the most ambitious number of golf courses that are either on the drawing board or already on the way. Looking at the last several years, there were altogether more golf courses being closed than are currently in development. This warns us of the possibility of failure if the new golf courses and practice ranges don’t develop a sustainable business plan.

Some Surprises

According to the World Golf Foundation, the popularity of golf is slowly increasing around the globe, though in some concentrated areas, with several countries that were less than interested before developing a golf fever. Some of the countries that were listed as unexpected enthusiasts were France and Germany in Europe and Vietnam in Asia. It is worth mentioning that the World Golf Foundation is urging countries and individuals to supply them with accurate information regarding the number of golfers, courses, and important golf news.

How Many People?

Different reports give different information, which, naturally, gets corrected, changed, or just plain lost over time. That being said, there are around 60 million registered golfers in the world. To put that into perspective, if we take into account that there are approximately 7.6 billion people on the planet, that means that roughly seven in a thousand people play golf (forgive the horrible math). In other words, it is still not as strong as basketball or soccer, but it’s not going anywhere.

How Many Courses?

There are over 15,000 courses in the US alone, though most people per golf hole can be found in Scotland. The last report that we could find on the number of courses in the world comes down to 33 thousand, though the report is from 2017 and could use a few updates. North America holds the majority of the golf courses in the world – around 54%.

“The numbers, Mason! What do they mean?”

To put it simply, golf enthusiasts need not fear for their favorite sport, at least for now. There has been a slight decline in the number of participants, as well as the number of playable golf courses over the years. However, the rate at which the numbers related to golf are failing are laughable. While a few golf courses got shut down in the US, there are dozens of countries that are just starting the development of the sport.

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