fbpx
pace of play

Time’s up: Do we make too much of how long it takes to play golf?

New data from the Golf for All report reveals golfers may be less worried about the time spent on the course than we all might think

 

Time. We’re told it’s a huge factor stopping people from playing golf. 9-hole competition, short courses, new formats – the sport has spent much of the last decade trying to speed up the game.

You’ll hear plenty of policymakers, and players who may have stepped away from golf, talking about catering for the “time poor”.

But is that how golfers really think? New figures commissioned by the PGA might appear to suggest otherwise.

In the latest reveal of their Golf for All data, considering participation pathways and what attracted people to the game, researchers asked survey participants to tell them what the least appealing aspect of the sport was.

Forty per cent of respondents chose the weather, while 36 per cent said it was expensive. Only 15 per cent complained it was a “time-consuming activity”.

That figure remained consistent when you stripped back the numbers into those who played golf regularly and those who were infrequent golfers.

golf tee times

Golf for all report: Does it take too long to play the sport?

In each case, just 14 per cent of respondents said the length of time it took to play was the least appealing factor.

Golf for All is the result of a partnership between the PGA and IPSOS. The agency were commissioned to conduct surveys, both online and offline, to understand the size of the golfing landscape within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The PGA says the research aims to provide “an understanding across a board audience of those with any level of interest in golf”.

The figures also show the growing importance of adventure golf in introducing people to the game. 60 per cent of infrequent golfers – classed as those who play at least yearly – had enjoyed their first taste of golf at adventure golf, compared with just 11 per cent of regular golfers.

For those who played the game at least monthly, just under half had been introduced to golf on course.

To view, and download, the full report, visit golf-for-all.co.uk

  • This piece also appears in the GCMA’s monthly Insights newsletter that is packed with expert opinion on matters relating to golf club management. Sign up to Insights for FREE here.
GCMA Insights logo

Now have your say

What do you think of these latest Golf for All report figures? Do we worry too much about how long golf takes? Let me know your thoughts with a comment on X.

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.

Latest Posts

News

Did England Golf’s new pace of play policy get off to a good start?

By

Read full article about Did England Golf’s new pace of play policy get off to a good start?
golf ball roll back

News

Checkpoint Charlie: Will England Golf’s new Pace of Play policy speed up the game?

By

Read full article about Checkpoint Charlie: Will England Golf’s new Pace of Play policy speed up the game?
flagstick

News

England Golf general play policy continues after 60 denied entry to tournaments

By

Read full article about England Golf general play policy continues after 60 denied entry to tournaments
R&A clubhouse

News

New look R&A clubhouse reopens after renovation work

By

Read full article about New look R&A clubhouse reopens after renovation work
Mark Wahlberg

News

‘These are gym socks, man!’ Hollywood A-Lister falls foul of golf club dress code

By

Read full article about ‘These are gym socks, man!’ Hollywood A-Lister falls foul of golf club dress code
faldo futures series

News

Can the Faldo Futures fuel a new passion for golf?

By

Read full article about Can the Faldo Futures fuel a new passion for golf?
fortrose & rosemarkie

News

This historic Scottish club really needs your help

By

Read full article about This historic Scottish club really needs your help
seaton carew junior membership

News

This club has ditched membership fees for all kids

By

Read full article about This club has ditched membership fees for all kids
Walker Cup captain

News

Dean Robertson named new GB&I Walker Cup captain

By

Read full article about Dean Robertson named new GB&I Walker Cup captain