The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) has embarked on a groundbreaking research initiative in collaboration with Ipsos, a global leader in market research. This comprehensive project, named "Golf for All," aims to define the future of golf by uncovering the evolving dynamics of golf participation and challenging traditional perceptions of the game.
The Golf for All research project represents a significant milestone in understanding the diverse landscape of golf and reimagining its potential. Through a combination of extensive surveys conducted both online and offline, the initiative seeks to capture a panoramic view of golf participation, encompassing a wide range of experiences and preferences.
In a striking revelation, the results of the research showcase the remarkable diversity within the game of golf beyond its traditional, on-course forms. The project illuminates the presence of golf in driving ranges, pitch & putt facilities, adventure golf courses, and simulator setups, pointing to a vibrant and multifaceted realm of engagement – one that The PGA believes is key to the future of the game.
A key finding of the report shows that 40% of all adults in the UK and Ireland engage with golf in any capacity, equating to a huge community of 22.4 million individuals. Of those 22.4 million people engaged with golf, 16.3 million are playing any form of golf – from adventure golf to pitch and putt – whilst 4.9 million are playing golf ‘on course’. This ground-breaking research and insight challenges the position of the golf industry, presenting a sizeable opportunity to engage with an audience totalling nearly 18 million people that don’t play the on-course forms of golf.
Commenting on the research findings, Robert Maxfield, Chief Executive of The PGA, said: “This research has already been an enlightening exercise for us at The PGA. It has confirmed our expectation that golf has changed irrevocably, and that there is huge scope for the golf industry to be more inclusive of different forms of the game and the people who play them.
“The report itself gives us detailed insight and is a ground-breaking look into just how far the game has come, and how big the opportunity is to tap into a huge population of people who are already engaged in golf that we haven’t had sight of in the past. It gives the industry the chance to diversify the sport’s fan base and user base, and that is hugely exciting.”
The research is ongoing, and will continue to provide further, more detailed results over the coming months. It is set to delve into both traditional and non-traditional golf hubs, with data collection spanning an extended period of time – but in the short-term it is slated to provide an in-depth analysis of the women’s game, the experiential forms of the game that don’t constitute traditional golf, and the economic impact of golf on the wider UK & Ireland sporting economy.
One crucial element of this initiative is an ongoing commitment from The PGA to make the report and all future iterations freely available to the entire golf industry, helping to provide all those involved in the game with the necessary insight to attract and retain the next generation of golfers.
It is hoped that this research – with its ambitious and wide-ranging scope – will provide huge benefit to the many governing bodies, partners, and companies that The PGA works with across the industry.
The full version of the report can be accessed via a dedicated microsite www.golf-for-all.co.uk – and there is detailed analysis and commentary around the key findings provided in the September issue of The PGA’s Golf Business Quarterly (GBQ) magazine.