Golf is a popular sport enjoyed by more than 119 million people worldwide. It is played in nearly every corner of the globe, with varying levels of participation and skill.
The sport has a rich history dating back centuries, and its popularity continues to grow as more people become interested in the game. In this article, we’ll explore the global population of golfers, offering an analysis based on country, age group, and gender.
I. How many golfers are in the world?: Country-Wise Data
According to National Golf Foundation (NGF), an estimated 119 million people in the United States engaged with golf in various ways in 2022. Let’s explore the statistics from some prominent golfing nations.
How many golfers are in the USA?
The United States boasts the largest number of golfers in the world, with approximately 24.8 million individuals participating in the sport. This accounts for around 45% of the total number of golfers worldwide.
This represents a growth of 500,000 players, marking a 2% increase from 2019. The rise in golfers can be attributed to new players entering the sport as well as the return of individuals who had previously played golf before the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the increase of 6.2 million players in total is the most significant rise in 17 years.
These figures, as reported by the NGF, are particularly significant when considering that a similar surge was last observed in 1997 when Tiger Woods secured his first major championship.
Additionally, Woods’ victory at the 2008 US Open, despite a broken leg, also resulted in a substantial increase in interest and participation in the game.
How many golfers are in Europe?
Europe is another region with a significant golfing population. The number of golfers in Europe has experienced a remarkable surge, with a significant increase from 7.9 million players to 10.6 million, representing a staggering 34% growth across the continent. This notable rise in golf enthusiasts can largely be attributed to the Ireland and Great Britain. The golfing population in Ireland and Britain soared from 3.6 million players to 5.8 million players by the close of 2021.
Here is a breakdown of European golfers population by nation:
- Ireland: 540,000
- Denmark: 150,000
- Switzerland: 90,000
- Finland: 50,000
How many golfers are in Asia?
In Asia, there has been a significant surge in golf participation, resulting in an estimated 23.3 million golfers in the region. Notably, Japan stands out as having the second-largest golf population globally, trailing only the United States.
Japan, with its 8.9 million golfers and an impressive count of over 2,300 courses, showcases a dedicated and passionate golfing culture. The sport is deeply ingrained in the country, with many influential business deals being conducted exclusively on the golf course.
The interest in golf experienced a notable spike following Hideki Matsuyama’s victory in the Masters tournament in 2021, further fueling the enthusiasm and engagement of Japanese golfers.
How many golfers are in Australia?
Australia, home to professional golfers like Adam Scott and Greg Norman, boasts a substantial golf population of approximately 1.3 million players. This represents around 10% of the country’s population and 5% of the total golfing population worldwide.
How many golfers are in Canada?
Canada has a considerable golfing population, with over 5.7 million golfers taking part in the sport. The country has a vibrant golf community, and its challenging courses attract players from around the world.
How many golfers are in New Zealand?
New Zealand has a relatively small population, but a high percentage of its citizens are golfers. Approximately 484,000 people in the country play golf, giving it one of the highest per capita participation rates in the world.
How many golfers are in South Africa?
In South Africa, there are 129,118 golfers. The country has a notable history in the sport, having produced top players like Gary Player, who is one of the youngest winners of the Masters.
II. Brief analysis on golf participation and population
Here are other important demographics of the golfing population based on age and gender.
How many golfers are in the world based on age?
The sport attracts players from all age groups, and there is evidence of an increase in the number of young people taking up golf.
Young adults make up a substantial portion of the global golfing population, with approximately 6.2 million golfers aged 18-34. Additionally, there are 5.8 million young adults who partake in off-course golf activities like miniature golf, putting greens, indoor golf simulators, entertainment driving ranges like Top Golf etc.
The engagement within this demographic has remained consistent for nearly a decade. Furthermore, there exists a notable interest in golf among young adults who do not currently play the sport, with over 6 million expressing a strong desire to take up the game.
In 2022, 3.4 million junior golfers played golf worldwide, reaching the highest point since 2006. This growth represents an increase of 900,000 players over the past three years, marking a 36% jump and making it the largest among all on-course participation segments.
How many female golfers are in the world?
In 2022, there are 6.4 million female on-course golfers aged 6 and above, with the number of female golfers surpassing 6 million for the first time since before the financial crisis in 2007. Over the past three years, there has been a net gain of 800,000 female golfers, amounting to a 14% increase.
Women playing golf comprise 25% of all on-course golfers. Women make up a higher percentage of certain categories within golf:
- Beginners: 41%
- Juniors: 37%
- Off-course participants: 41%
The representation of women golfers playing in these categories is higher than their overall presence in the golf population.
How many golf courses are in the world?
As the golf industry continues to grow in various countries, the total number of golf courses worldwide stands at 38,864. The United States alone boasts a significant number of golf courses and facilities. In the US alone, there are over 16,000 golf courses and 14,000 golf facilities, showcasing the sport’s popularity in the country.
The golf population has grown steadily over the past decade and continues to attract players from all age groups, genders, and regions. There are now an estimated 119 million golfers in the world, with a significant concentration in the US, Europe, and Asia.