Average club has less than 3 girls as members21st November, 2013 by Emma Williams
The average golf club in England has less than three girls as its members, according to research by England Golf, the governing body for amateur golf in England. However, there is potentially huge demand to increase this.
The average English golf club has 25 members under the age of 16, of whom more than 22 are boys.
The revelation comes as a new survey has revealed that the number of people playing golf in the UK could be more than doubled if venues encouraged families more.
The Syngenta-commissioned ‘Growing Golf in the UK’ report interviewed 2,145 non-golfers and 1,477 golfers.
There are currently four million golfers in the UK but the study reveals that a further 4.5 million people are interested in taking up the sport, with nearly half of them aged 15 to 39.
Of all British non-golfers, more than half said they would consider taking up the sport if there was a relaxed dress code, while nearly two-thirds said a free golf morning and easy access to affordable lessons would entice them to play the game. Just under half also said they would try golf if more of their friends or family members played it.
The research also found that nearly half of current golfers feel intimidated by club rules and regulations, while a quarter cannot recall ever being treated like a valued customer at a golf club.
“The shortfall in female participation in golf, and the potential for more women and family golfers, was highlighted in the research,” said spokesman Simon Elsworth. “Female golfers prefer to participate with family and friends, the study found. They also play a key role introducing children to the game.
“Clearly, there is a significant opportunity here for golf to both retain existing players and to attract many new people into a sport that offers health and social benefits to all.
“What we’ve found is that there is very significant latent demand for golf that could be realised if clubs and courses were able to promote themselves in a friendlier, flexible and family-orientated way. Ultimately, people want to relax, be treated as a valued customer, share time with friends and family and enjoy a healthy sport in an appealing, outdoor environment.”
“Sport England insights suggest 12 million women want to play more sport and that there are 800,000 people in England who have an interest in taking up golf but haven’t yet taken the first steps to do so,” added David Joy, CEO of England Golf.
“Whilst these figures are encouraging, it is also sobering to realise that currently, on average, there are fewer than three girls in membership of each golf club in England.”