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golf club membership

It’s the hottest ticket in town! England Golf reveal huge club membership surge

England Golf have revealed the scale of the pandemic gains in the sport as huge numbers of people flocked to join clubs in the last year
 

The number of golf club members in England has increased by almost 90,000 in the last year.

Figures produced by England Golf say the number of players at affiliated venues now stands at 737,021 – an extra 89,797 players.

The governing body says that’s a rise of 13.9 per cent compared to the February 2021 total of 647,224. It’s the third consecutive year that there has been a surge in golfers joining clubs.

Jeremy Tomlinson, England Golf chief executive, said: “These new membership figures are fantastic to see and reflect well on a great many people in the industry who have worked tirelessly to promote and re-energise the sport at club, county and national level.

“Golf is an amazing activity for players of all ages, from any background and of any ability, and this can be seen in the numbers now falling in love with the game for the first time or rekindling their passion for the sport.”

The figures confirm the pandemic boost that benefited golf clubs is still in full swing and adds to recent R&A statistics that showed overall participation numbers are higher now than before Covid struck.

Tomlinson added that England Golf’s ‘Membership: Give it a shot’ campaign, launched back in June 2020, had helped clubs with recruitment and he said it would also assist clubs as they looked to retain members.

The current cost of living crisis, which is predicted to get worse with inflation and energy bills expected to climb again throughout the year, presents the biggest threat to the new golf boom since those huge numbers of players flocked to the fairways following the end of the first lockdown in May 2020.

Tomlinson added: “Our clubs, supported by the counties and England Golf as the national governing body, have recognised they must offer a value proposition to anyone wanting to join as well as providing and inclusive, safe and secure environment for people to enjoy the game.

“Everyone at England Golf looks forward to working with our clubs and the wider golfing community to build on this growth to ensure we encourage new golfers from diverse backgrounds, or those returning to the sport, to develop a lifelong love affair with this wonderfully fun and frustrating game of ours!”

What do you think? Has the future of the sport ever looked brighter, or will the cost of living crisis put a dent in the gains of the last two years? Have your say in the comments, or tweet me.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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