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Where Does Golf Stand In the World’s Most Popular Sports?

 

A few cliches come to mind when we think about golf. For starters, one would think that only the wealthy elite and a bunch of businessmen in Florida play the sport. The reality is more nuanced for millions of players and golf fans worldwide.

This article highlights where golf is popular amongst other sports and who plays it worldwide. Be prepared to be surprised and learn new facts about a sport that people often get wrong.

Golf Popularity Ranked

As you may already know, a dozen sports are ruling the show in this world. Football remains the uncontested king of all disciplines, with more than 3,5 billion people enjoying it. Across the globe, online golf betting remains popular.

It is estimated that 450 million people consider themselves golf fans, meaning they either attend competitions as spectators, occasionally play the game or watch golf on TV. It stands in the 9th position in terms of popularity, right after Rugby, followed by more than 475 million people on the planet.

Most popular sports in the world – think football and cricket – originate from the United Kingdom. Golf was born in Scotland, to be precise, which is why the region is filled with beautiful fairways that you can enjoy if you can handle capricious weather.

Who Plays Golf? A Change in Demographics

Many of us consider that people of more mature age mainly play golf, and this statistic is still very accurate. It is estimated that 77% of golf players are male, and most are over 54 years of age.

However, something is rapidly changing in this statistic as the popularity of the sport is rising amongst youngsters. More or less than 6 million people under the age of 34 possess a golf license worldwide. The female competition scene is also thriving, and golfing is getting more and more popular in this population segment.

You might be surprised to know that in Ireland, golf is the most popular proportionally to its population. The second country on the list is Canada, where the sport is mainly played during the spring and summer.

Not everyone can play golf on a pristine fairway all year round, and the rise of indoor golf also has to be noticed. Overall, many golf players practice the game to enjoy an afternoon with friends, and the competition aspect is not the most important.

Which Country Has the Best Golf Course?

Every year, the official Golf Digest publishes a list of the world’s best golf courses. The list features breathtaking landscapes in all parts of the world, such as Ireland, Australia, and the UK, and the smaller island nations, such as the Dominican Republic.

International Players Around the World

Everyone remembers Tiger Woods is arguably the best player of all time. However, the updated PGA list mentions Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) as player number 1, followed by Scottie Scheffler (USA), Cameron Smith (Australia), Patrick Cantlay (USA), and John Rahm (Spain).

The top female layers are Lydia Ko (New Zealand), ATTHAYA THITIKUL (Thailand), and Brooke M Henderson.

Nicola Slater

Nicola Slater

Nicola recently graduated from Stirling University where she studied Sports Studies, she wrote her dissertation on barriers to participation for women in golf.
Nicola plays her golf at Hickleton Golf Club and has recently started her professional career on the LET Access Tour. Having played for Yorkshire Ladies and has represented England at junior and senior level.

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