The golf industries in both the USA and Australia – which have both seen economic declines comparable with Britain in recent years – are now showing strong signs of growth.
Research into the American market has found that the number of rounds of golf played at all venues from January to September 2012 was up by 7.4 per cent compared with a year ago.
The National Golf Rounds Played Report, by the PGA of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, Golf Datatech LLC and the National Golf Foundation, looked at 3,900 golf venues. It found both public-access and private courses were seeing an increase in rounds played, but growth was twice as fast at public-access courses. The research even found that the states of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania collectively saw a staggering increase of 17.6 per cent in the number of rounds played in September 2012, compared with the same month last year.
In Australia, a new survey has found that golf venues in that country have seen a 3.5 per cent increase in rounds played in 2012 from the previous year.
The 2012 Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) Competition Rounds Report discovered that over 12 million rounds of golf have been played in the last 12 months.
The author of the report, Jeff Blunden, said: “Let’s hope that off the back of this report there is a greater appreciation of the importance of playing frequency. Membership numbers, whilst the driver to rounds played, are only part of golf’s outcome. At the coal face it is all about rounds being played. In lieu of membership growth, getting existing golfers to play more golf is one way we can drive improving industry health.”
However, large parts of Australia and the USA have experienced hot and dry periods of weather in recent months – unlike the wet summer that took place in 2012 in the UK. New South Wales, on the other hand, experienced its second wettest March on record this year, and the report found that numbers of rounds dropped by nine per cent in that state during that month.
Source: Golf Club Management 7th November