Will Golf be affected due to world economic conditions?

Golf is slowly rising on the ladder of popularity in the world. This is quite evident with the increasing number of golf courses coming up all over. The top 10 countries with respect to golf players are Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Wales, United States, Sweden and England respectively. China, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the united states of America are the largest golf equipment market. While there is a strong growth as golf equipment markets in Ecuador, Moldova, China, Morocco and Malaysia.

The total number of golf courses in the world at present is 35,112, with about fifty percent of them in United States of America alone. Followed by United Kingdom with 8% and Japan and Canada at 7% each.  There are hugely popular tournaments conducted every year. The most prestigious ones for men are The Masters, The U.S. Open, The British Open/ The Open Championship and The PGA Championship. For women the most prestigious ones are ANA Inspiration, The Women’s British Open, The Evian Championship and the LPGA tour. There are senior tours too, for players above the age of 55, their most popular ones are The senior PGA Championship, The Tradition, The Senior Players Championship, The United States Senior Open and The Senior British Open Championship.

The golf industry’s economic impact has been estimated at $70 billion per year and its charitable impact at $4 billion per year through 14,300 events and 12 million participants. The Market projected growth estimates $15 billion by 2020. Whereas Asia-Pacific countries are expected to grow at a 6.8% Compound annual growth rate. Golf is not a cheap game, it’s quite expensive, with average charge for playing at a golf course could be around 40$.

Factors that influence Golf’s global market dynamics:

1.         Rise in Golf Tourism.

2.         Development of new Golf Courses.

3.         Number of Professional and Amateur golf players.

4.         Number of High Net Worth Individual in Emerging Markets

5.         Online access to booking portals and golf courses.

6.         Favourable climatic conditions for the game.

7.         Popularity comparison with other leisure activities or sports.

What will be the effect of Brexit on Golf?

Brexit is the combination of words Britain and Exit, which is used to refer to the British exit from European Union. On June 23, 2016 a referendum asking voters “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” was answered by 51% of people which choose to leave. Britain’s exit from European Union caused financial markets to incur heavy losses, real estate prices to fall. Pound fell to its lowest value since 1985 and Britain lost its AAA rating.

Golf is considered as a leisure sport and usually played by high net-worth individuals.

Implications of Brexit on golf:

1. The first effect of Brexit was on pounds’ valuation which fell almost 9% as compared to U.S dollar.

2. This means non Britain players and Golf lovers will find it easier to travel to Britain for golf tournaments.

3. There might be an increase on greens keeping services such as greens fees, caddy fees, golf-related outlays and British open merchandise etc.

4. The British might find it difficult to maintain the expenses incurred for maintaining golf courses.

5.  This could lead to closure of many golf courses.

6.  The falling rate of pound might result in less number of Britain golf players travelling to other countries for tournaments.

7.  Ryder cup is a golf tournament that takes place between United States and Europe once every two years.

8.  The Ryder cup is scheduled in the fall at Hazeltine.

9. The European tour released a statement stating that referendum would not have any effect on the Ryder cup qualifications. Declaring that the qualifications criteria are geographical and not affected by political concerns.

10. Even after the clarification, there’s a certain amount of apprehension especially in players from other European countries. First they were a part of the same team against the United states, but now Britain’s exit from European Union is creating confusion on Britain’s stand in the tournament.

11. The leisure and hospitality sector would be worst affected.

12. This could directly affect 5700 green keepers in Britain.

Why is America’s Golf statistics decreasing?

1. The number of golf players has reduced from 30 million in 2006 to 25 million in 2013.

2. United is the top most country in the world in terms of golf courses having almost 50 percent of the world’s total number of golf courses.

3. In the past decade though it has recorded consecutive closures of golf courses.

4. There are number of reasons that are cumulatively causing this decline. They are:

5. Modern Lifestyles: Today’s lifestyles are characterised by its speed. With the help of technology almost every field and work has been converted into quicker, fast performing products. Travel, exchange of information, entertainment etc. run on the mantra of “The quicker the better”. This has led us to become impatient. Golf requires a lot of patience and playing an 18-hole game requires more than four hours. Even if people start playing golf, they start losing interest soon due to its longer time and complex set of rules.

6. Economic effects: There had been a lot of economic turmoil experienced by US, recession being the worst. These has led to reducing earning and spending capacity of middle to lower income groups. Golf is an expensive sport and hence many people form middle-lower income groups have abandoned golf. In many places there has been closure of golf courses for cost efficiency purposes.

7. Lack of Inspiration: High performing players attract enthusiasts and players to play the game. They also inspire aspiring players to perform better. Golf industry was at its zenith in the 90’s when Tiger woods was a star. Golf sporting goods companies (click for more) had registered record high sales during his tenure. Current golf situation lacks such a star.

There might be a decline in golf statistics but golf as sport will be continued to play in form of so many popular tournaments. It might produce a star as it has done in the past to bring the lost sheen to this leisure game.