The average number of rounds played per course in England, Wales and Scotland in Q1 2023 was down 2% on the first quarter in 2022 despite unsettled, wet weather. March, when rounds played are higher than in January and February as many golfers begin to exit hibernation and prepare for the season ahead, was the sixth wettest on record with a mean UK temperature of just 5.7 degrees Celsius.
In February, rounds played soared nationally, up 27% on 2022 figures, making this the second strongest performing individual month in Q1 over the last five years, only narrowly behind March 2022. February’s weather was milder and drier than average.
That rounds played held up despite a miserable March, and against a historically strong 2022 – the average rounds played per course per month averaged out at over a hundred more than before the pandemic – is an impressive achievement, and suggests that participation remains high across the UK.
“2022 represented a very strong performance for the golf industry, with rounds played in each of the first three months of the year above pre-pandemic levels,” said Richard Payne of Sporting Insights. “We did expect to see a slight dip, especially given the weather over the first three months of this year and given that the cost of living crisis began to hit many households as energy bills rose, restricting disposable income and leisure spend. That 2023 stayed within touching distance of 2022, and well above 2019 figures represents a strong result and confirms what we have been seeing in other metrics. The number of people continuing to engage with golf is good, and, when the weather plays ball, as it did in February this year, more golfers than ever are eager to head to the course to play. This bodes well for the summer and for all involved in golf in the Great Britain.”
Since 2000, Sporting Insights has tracked rounds played at commercial golf courses across mainland Great Britain.
As part of Sporting Insights’ ongoing partnership with The Revenue Club, the Q3 report includes an additional section that looks at the booking channel trends from the 140 clubs that they work with.
For more information or to purchase the full report, contact Richard Payne