Reports & Insights

Golf Rounds Played Q1 figures show understandable decline

Golf Rounds Played Q1 figures show understandable decline

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Reports & Insights

Sports Marketing Surveys has released the Golf Rounds Played report for the first quarter of 2020 in Great Britain.

The results show a drop of 31% vs the same period in 2019, culminating in a 42% year on year decrease in rounds played in March.

That the report paints a bleak picture is unsurprising after extreme weather in February was followed by Coronavirus and lockdown in March. Q1 2019 was also a strong quarter against which to compare, having grown by 31% against the equivalent months in 2018.

Because of this, the findings should be taken with a strong pinch of salt, and not seen as indicative of a wider decline or cause for concern for the sport. In fact, the results follow the publication earlier this year of the SMS golf participation tracker for year end 2019, which showed the highest number of total players since 2015, after two consecutive years of growth. End of year rounds played figures for 2019 back up this impression, with a year end growth of 0.4% driven by performance in Scotland and the South of England.

However, whilst the Q1 results may look disquieting, they do form part of the historical record, and so it is important that they are published and collated as usual.

The Q1 findings have been issued in the same week as golf courses across England reopen, and so we join with the industry in hoping and expecting that they represent an anomaly and that happier times lie in store.

For more information on this, or to view historic rounds played reporting, please contact


Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) is a specialist sports research agency with global reach and 35 years’ experience. Our full range of quantitative and qualitative approaches provides comprehensive analysis in more than 100 sports. The resulting insight and strategic recommendations support some of the biggest brands, retailers, events, venues, federations and governing bodies around the globe to grow their business and get closer to the people who matter.

31% decline vs Q1 2019

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