Golf slows in Europe, KPMG study shows

Golf’s growth in Europe has slowed, according to a new study by KPMG’s Golf Advisory Practice in Hungary.

“The recent economic downturn has left its mark on Europe’s golf market and created further barriers to the development of the game,” the report states.

The number of golfers across the continent more than doubled from 1.7 million in 1990 to 4.1 million in 2005. But growth has slowed from 5 percent annually at the start of the decade to one to two percent a year. There are currently 4.436 million registered golfers in the region.

Germany, the Netherlands and Spain saw the largest growth in actual numbers, while the Czech Republic experienced the highest growth percent — with a 650 percent increase since 2000.

England and Wales both experienced a decline in golfers. But the U.K. and Ireland still make up almost 31 percent of all golfers in Europe, and have 44.6 percent of the golf courses.

The number of courses also continues to grow at a brisk pace — 1,249 new courses opened in the last ten years.

Turkey, now with 5,538 registered golfers, has seen a surge in junior play, thanks to an aggressive youth program. More than 50 percent of the country’s registered golfers are now juniors.

The report can be downloaded at http://www.golfbusinesscommunity.com/article/golf_participation_in_europ...

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