R&A announce results of pace of play survey

Survey finds 60% of golfers would enjoy game more if played in less time

The R&A have announced the results of a pace of play survey, with an industry forum to discuss the findings planned for later in the year.

The survey received more than 56,000 responses from golfers in 122 countries between September 2014 and March 2015. It was carried out by The R&A as part of their efforts to investigate the issues affecting golf and the extent to which they impact on participation in the sport.


The survey revealed that while 70% of golfers are largely happy with the duration of their rounds, 60% of golfers expressed the view that they would enjoy golf more if they played in less time.

Importantly, of the 25-44 year-olds who said that they were never happy with pace of play, 21% said that golf would need to take as much as one-and-a-half hours less for them to play more often. 

Of the 8,468 golfers in this age range who responded, 19% said they would welcome the opportunity to play nine holes more often as an alternative format.
This survey is the first step for us in examining the wide range of issues currently affecting participation in golf” – Duncan Weir, executive director of The R&A The survey found that the two biggest factors preventing people from playing golf are work commitments (34%) and family commitments (29%) with the time taken to play (16%) ranked third. Other factors mentioned were alternative hobbies (12%), cost of play (7%), difficulty of play (1%) and cost of equipment (1%); although there were some regional variations on these percentages.


The R&A are organising a forum later this year where they will invite contributions from a range of organisations in golf on addressing pace of play and explore the key areas of player behaviour, management approaches and golf course issues.

“This survey is the first step for us in examining, in detail, the wide range of issues currently affecting participation in golf,” said executive director of The R&A, Duncan Weir.

“We feel that the next step in this process is to engage with our partners throughout the golf industry to look at these findings and invite them to contribute their views to these important discussions. Our forum later this year will provide the opportunity for these discussions to take place.”

The R&A distributed the survey through their affiliated bodies around the world and it was offered in six languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

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