With the current Google generation, golf has been competing with families, whose main source of exercise is using their fingers on a computer or mobile.
How many Dad’s these days are shouting upstairs to their teenagers…Who wants to join me for a round of golf?
So where is golf going into the next decade? Will we even be playing golf in 50 years’ time? So, let’s look at some facts.
33,161 Golf Courses
Golf is available around the globe, and according to a recent R & A survey, there were 33,161 golf facilities in 2008 of the world’s 245 countries.
The majority of worldwide supply is located in the western hemisphere. North and South America are home to 55% of world supply; The U.S. alone claims 45% of the world’s total courses.
Europe has the second largest regional share with 22% of the world’s total, followed by Asia with 14% and Oceania with 6%.
With 60% of the world’s population on 31% of the earth’s land mass, Asia is home to 4,570 golf facilities, representing 14% of the total count.
But with 176 golf projects in various stages of design, development and construction, Asia now claims 32% of all new undertakings currently identified worldwide.
Although in the past club membership financed the clubs, today that mix is shifting decidedly towards the resort side, with the vast majority of new projects intended to attract tourism. To pay for these expensive projects most golf resorts will also come with a real estate element as well.
Development in the last twenty years there has been phenomenal growth in Asian golf, with Thailand (250 golf facilities), India (267) and China (383) now among the top-20 countries in course supply.
Vietnam now boasts around forty golf courses, with many more in the construction stages. With its varied topography and long coastline, Vietnam has also become a serious golfing country.
Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Golf today is a sport that transcends entertainment, lifestyle, health and community. However, it is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is experiencing some of its most tumultuous times.
Everyone in the industry is fully aware that they need to attract youngsters to take up the game. Luckily a new generation of players are making it at the top of leaderboards around the world, providing an enticing new dynamic for fans, broadcasters and sponsors.
It is estimated that there is a total of 60 million golfers in the world. Despite some recent dips in participation, golf continues to attract new players. It’s estimated that the number of golfers will increase by 3 million through 2020.
In 2012, Thailand was ranked as the third largest golf destination in the world, behind only the United States and Spain. That may be surprising, as the United Kingdom is regarded as the home of golf and boasts many famous, ancient destination courses.
Asian Kids Winning Tournaments
South Korea and Thailand are starting to see more youngsters playing golf. This is partly due to the excellent teaching courses available at a lot of the schools. But also, because both the Asian men and particularly the young Asian female stars on the LPGA are winning, and therefore are becoming local heroes.
Thanks to programs like First Tee, more children are getting in on the game. In 2010, there were 2.5 million junior players between the ages of 6 and 17.
It is an expensive game to take up, however with the help of governments and associations, more and more free golf equipment is being donated, to encourage kids to play.
It will not be easy; however, all the tours, associations and individuals are talking up the game, so we can all live in hope!