Golf Statistics

Golf Stats

Very cool link for golf stats…



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Some interesting statistical numbers about the great game of golf.


There are over 61,000,000 golfers worldwide

There is over 31,000 golf courses worldwide

Golf is a $60,000,000,000 industry worldwide


There are over 27,000,000 golfers in the USA

There are over 17,000 golf courses in the USA


There are over 2,300 golf courses in Canada


There are over 6,900,000 golfers in Europe

There are over 2,750 golf courses in the United Kingdom

There are over 684 golf courses in Germany

There are over 559 golf courses in France

There are over 480 golf courses in Sweden


There are over 500,000 golfers in South Africa

There are over 450 golf courses in South Africa


There are over 13,600,000 golfers in Asia

There are over 2,442 golf courses in Japan

There are over 500 golf courses in China


There are over 1,700,000 golfers in Australia

There are over 1,500 golf courses in Australia


Wealthy Wall Street bigs keep struggling golf industry afloat

July 12, 2014 | 8:35pm


The game of golf is recovering from years of triple-bogies.

As budget-conscious middle-class Americans massively quit the game, the rich are propping up the struggling golf industry — and golf-crazed titans of corporate America and Wall Street are among the biggest hitters.

The statistics show the hazards: 400,000 people left the sport in the US last year, according to the National Golf Foundation. Some 160 golf courses nationwide closed in 2013 — the eighth straight year of net closings. All told, US golfers played 462 million rounds of golf in 2013 — the fewest since 1995.

But there’s no golf recession in the metro area, as the financial topdogs gobble up tee times and memberships.

While the C-suite banking execs always strut their handicaps, from JPMorgan’s Vice Chairman Jimmie Lee’s healthy 5 to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s reported 24, it’s the minions under them who are flocking back to the clubs.

“They’re making money again, they’ve got expense accounts, they’re making deals — and they’re doing that playing golf at the country club,” said Tom Stine, co-founder of Golf Datatech, an independent industry research firm.

Analysts blame the decline in golf on the lingering effects of the Great Recession, changing lifestyles and reversal of the overly ambitious growth during the heyday of golf.

The sharp contraction, say analysts, is not reflected among the most affluent Americans.

“Golf is seeing a growth spurt in the business community,” said Jed Hughes, head of global executive placement in Korn Ferry’s sports practice.

Hughes, who has placed CEOs, GMs, athletic directors and head coaches, says some of the best deals are done today on the links, uninterrupted by social media and cell phones. “I’ve seen CEOs hired, companies merge, big union deals done and board directors selected — on the golf course,” he said.

Hughes, an avid golfer, lives in western Pennsylvania, not far from the posh 18-hole Arnold Palmer-redesigned Laurel Valley Golf Club frequented by the corporate jet-set.

A round of golf, with overnight accommodations and extras, can run about $1,000 per person, Hughes figures.

“There are probably 60 to 70 corporate jets lined up at the airport, 10 minutes away — with limos picking up the passengers for a game at the club,” said Hughes, on a perfect sunny day last week. “They’re here from New York and all over.”

In the New York metro area, golf had a good 12 months despite the toughest winter in years. Rounds of golf played were up in May compared with a year ago: 3 percent in New York City, 5.6 percent in New Jersey and 4.1 percent in Connecticut, according to Golf Datatech.

Rising memberships at some of the swankiest country clubs reflect bonuses and comp, according to Frank Gregory, a senior executive at mutual fund manager BPV.

With a huge concentration of affluent golfers, New York has weathered the golf storm better than other places. After the Great Recession, many top-notch local private clubs “discounted” pricing and improved service. It lured back some well-heeled golfers. “You’re seeing a lot of the very high-end courses with top-shelf amenities today,” Gregory said.

The initiation fees alone at these exclusive courses are unaffordable to all but the super-rich and execs on corporate accounts.

By one recent assessment, they range from around $150,000 at the Bayonne Golf Club to a rumored $1 million at the tony Sebonack Golf Club in Southhampton.

Another, Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, NJ, is said to charge initiation fees of $350,000. “People are joining these country clubs again — the economy is better,” said Stine.

Not surprisingly, many institutional investors see green.

Last September, the No. 1 operator of private golf clubs worldwide, ClubCorp Holdings of Dallas, went public, trading at $14 a share. It’s up 26 percent from its IPO price.


Forbes – Bob Cook

How A Declining Middle Class Is Killing Golf 

So what plans does your family have for the summer? I’m going to assume they don’t involve golf.

That’s because about every number coming out recently regarding the state of the sport is a negative, with millennials — as in, young people, as in, the future of the game — in particular abandoning, or having no interest at all in, a good walk spoiled.

There are a lot of theories as to why this is happening, including the grumpy old (in mind or body) coot’s favorite scapegoat, everybody-gets-a-trophy leagues. However, I have no doubt that a big issue is the sport getting out of sight, out of mind for a declining middle class. Golf’s high cost to entry and association with an older, moneyed elite has resulted in young people sending it to the same golden scrap heap as formerly mass activities such as tennis, attending college football games, and democracy.

One of the latest indicators of golf double-bogeying the sport of life was the disappointing quarterly earnings report issued May 20 by Dick’s Sporting Goods. The company said its difficulties were related to golf and hunting, but looking at the numbers, it’s golf that’s the bigger concern. Dick’s same-store sales at its namesake locations were up 2.3 percent, but the total for its Golf Galaxy stores was down 10.4 percent.

The decline is reflective of an overall drop in interest in golf, particularly among the younger generations. Bloomberg quoted the National Golf Foundation as saying 200,000 players ages 35 and younger “abandoned the game” over the past year, not that it’s easy to get them onto the course in the first place. It turns out they wanted to watch Tiger Woods, not be Tiger Woods. That age group’s decline is only the half of it, literally: another 200,000 players also abandoned the game in that same period. More from Bloomberg:

The people sticking with the sport are playing fewer rounds than before, often opting for nine holes rather than 18. In total, U.S. golfers played 462 million rounds last year, according to Golf Datatech. That was the fewest number since 1995.

“Golf has been a crummy business for a long time,” said Paul Swinand, an analyst at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago.

It might seem there’s a chance to market the game more toward women, with the National Golf Foundation reporting a net gain of 260,000 women players over the last year. However, there are indications of that young women’s interest has peaked.

While boys’ high school golf team participation peaked at 167,781 in 1998-99 and has been in steady decline since, girls’ high school team golf participation had been going up for most of the time, according to data complied by the National Federation of State High School Associations. However, over the last five years, girls’ participation has plateaued at around 71,000. (Dick’s Sporting Goods, by the way, has undertaken a public effort to boost all school sports participation.)

A big problem for golf, and it’s reflect in those high school numbers, is that access to the game is growing more limited. As equipment and course prices got more expensive, and as people had less disposable income and time to play, access to courses where young hackers could play a low-cost round for kicks, and discover maybe they liked the sport, went down. Also, the home mortgage crisis also cut down on courses. Some explanation from Bloomberg BusinessWeek (emphasis on middle-class economic factors is mine):

More golf courses closed than opened in the U.S. in 2013 for the eighth straight year, according to the National Golf Foundation.

A total of 14 18-hole courses opened last year, up from 13.5 in 2012, while 157.5 courses were closed during the year, three more than a year earlier, the Jupiter, Florida-based organization said in a statement on its website. The organization counts every nine holes as 0.5 of a course.

Since 2006, course closings have outnumbered openings after more than 4,500 courses had opened over the previous 15 years. Those courses, many of which were built as part of real estate projects, shut down as the U.S. recession led to a reduction in home sales needed to support the courses. Golf club memberships and rounds played also declined during the recession.

Of the closings, 66 percent charged less than $40 for greens fees during peak times. The closings decreased the total number of U.S. golf courses to 14,564.5, the Foundation said.Public courses made up 97 percent (151.5) of the closures, with private courses accounting for 4 percent (6). A total of 8.5 public courses opened last year, compared with 5.5 new private courses.

Just to clarify, a public course is not merely one that is government-owned. It refers to any course that does not require a membership. Public courses, unlike private clubs, live and die on having lots of golfers out every day. Certainly, a private club needs that, too, but it can live on if it’s socked away enough cash in reserve. Still, even the country-club set is growing a little nervous about its future propsects, especially with itstraditional population base (and corporate support of  individual memberships) in decline.

As a result, the golfing industry, Dick’s Sporting Goods and beyond, is getting the yips. Manufacturers are discounting equipment — andmight have to cut prices even more. Golf courses are experimenting with offering more nine-hole playing options, larger holes or golf-ish activitites (such as FootGolf, golf with a soccer ball) in hopes of attracting families and time-pressed individuals. Golf Digest is attracting attention for trying to reinvent itself as a hipper publication, with stories such as smoking marijuana on the course. (If there’s a perception that golf is too slow, I’m not sure playing behind stoners is going to make the game go faster.)

But is any of that going to encourage young people to play the actual game of golf? Or turn around the middle class so they have the money and leisure time to play? I guess we’ll find out in future Dick’s Sporting Goods financial reports.

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