R&A publishes first-ever report on golf facilities around the world

News & Tour

'Unprecedented' report shows distribution of courses and reveals number of facilities around the world.

The R&A has published a new report detailing the precise number of golf facilities around the world for the first time ever.

The unprecedented report reveals that, by the end of 2014, there were 34,011 golf facilities in 206 countries around the world. It shows that 79 per cent of these facilities are located in just 10 countries.

Although the USA is home to 45 per cent of the facilities and Europe to 22 per cent, the report also states that there are 50 countries with only one golf course.

Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, said: “The new report provides a fascinating insight into the development of golf around the world and gives us a precise measure of the number of facilities for the first time. It will provide a benchmark for future monitoring and enable us to identify areas of potential growth.”

‘This will be extremely useful for the golf industry at large’ The report has been produced by the National Golf Foundation, a golf market research organisation based in the USA, and sets out the extent of golf’s development worldwide.

The report found that an additional 696 golf courses are under construction or in advance planning. While 80 per cent of the new projects are in Asia, Europe and North America, there are clear signs the sport is spreading with countries such as Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia opening their first golf courses in the last two years and initial courses under construction in countries as diverse as Macedonia and Sao Tome and Princepe.

The R&A has provided funding for the creation of the definitive worldwide database and report which provides a benchmark for measuring the extent of golf’s global footprint. The NGF team spent four years and 25,000 working hours surveying golf facilities around the world using global information sources, satellite imagery and on-the-ground contacts.

The report will continue to be produced biennially and will allow monitoring of the sport’s development in future.

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