PGAs of EuropeResearch – PGAs of Europe Home of the PGAE Fri, 19 Jan 2018 13:02:05 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:34:08 +0000 PGAs of Europe The latest of KPMG’s annual publications offers analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry, and this year shows slight growth in the industry...]]>

The 2017 Golf Participation in Europe Report, which provides invaluable figures for key stakeholders in the golf industry, is the latest of KPMG’s annual publications offering analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry. This year’s edition bears good news in store for the golf industry: slight growth.

According to the survey, which is based upon statistics compiled from local golf associations in 43 European countries, the continent’s golf markets are displaying positive signs of growth in 2016.

In fact, when taking a closer look at Europe’s golf markets, 81% of local golf associations indicated in 2016 that their level of participation had either stabilized or increased. The remaining 19% of European markets still experienced some decline, including key markets such as Scotland and Austria.

The research demonstrates that the number of registered golfers showed a slight increase, by 2% (+82,584 players), while the supply of golf courses declined by 28 courses (24 openings and 52 closures). Forty-six per cent of European countries surveyed experienced a growth in participation rates, 35% showed stability and in 19% of the countries surveyed demand declined. The research further shows that men make up 67% of the total registered golfers across Europe in 2016, and the proportion of European population who actively played golf (0.9%) has not changed since 2015.

“As we have identified a moderate level of growth in 2016,” says Andrea Sartori, Partner and KPMG Global Head of Sports, “it is important to reflect upon various creditable golf development initiatives, which have been launched in previous years with the aim of reaching new audiences and retaining existing golfers across Europe. These initiatives and the hard work of many other golf industry stakeholders, provide evidence for a consciously optimistic outlook for the game’s development. Certain markets have demonstrated exemplary performance and highlighted the opportunities a proactive and coordinated approach can achieve.”

Click Here to Download the KPMG 2017 Golf Participation Report for Europe at

KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report
Noteworthy European Golf Club Trends in 2017 Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:50:28 +0000 Golf Business Monitor Golf Business Monitor & Rob Hill examine key trends and data from golf facilities throughout the EMEA territory...]]>

Golf Business Monitor & Global Golf Advisors’ Rob Hill examine key trends and data that could help you plan and make business decisions that will ultimately benefit your business…

Through our numerous assignments and research initiatives at Global Golf Advisors over the last twelve months, we have encountered both unique challenges and consistent trends at golf facilities throughout the EMEA territory. Here, I have identified five that are particularly noteworthy for their influence on current golf facility performance at European Clubs.

1. Capital Maintenance Trends

Capital maintenance, capital improvements and the funding of both are amongst the greatest challenge facing golf facilities now and are expected to continue to be so into the immediate future. 40% of clubs are reporting that they have more than three year’s worth of deferred capital maintenance and expenditure, largely a consequence of economic recession/stagnancy between 2009 and 2015.

Long-term capital planning is rare, with most clubs lacking a formal plan to fund capital requirements, using whatever cash is available each year to fund their reserves. Less than 50% have a capital reserve study in place informing long-term capital requirements. Of those that are investing in capital, almost 6 in 10 are using a combination of debt and membership levy to fund their programs.

Clubs spend on average 7.6% of gross annual revenue on capital maintenance but estimate they need to spend 9.6% to keep pace with capital maintenance.

2. Women make the ‘buy’ decision

Historically golf clubs have been institutions that served male viewpoints, wants and needs. New programs and services are changing membership structures, methods of club governance and the feasibility of many clubs.

In her book, “Marketing to women” Martha Barletta indicates that 91% of home purchase decisions are made by a woman. Typically, the club membership decision is a part of the home choice decision due to location, psychographic and demographic profile.

As such, clubs must reset membership programs to address the primary push/pull factors that influence the buy decision. Women prize their clubs as a platform for socialization. Clubs must demonstrate in clear and appealing ways that the lifestyle of the club is diverse, active and accessible for busy women and their families.

Sales and marketing tactics in forward- thinking clubs are seeking to address schedule flexibility, interesting and current programs and the opportunities for meeting and keeping friends.

3. Business Intelligence

There is increasing adoption amongst clubs of more sophisticated business intelligence for decision-making. This includes the tracking and analysis of financial and operational performance trends, market pricing trends and positioning, member satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS), comparable club benchmarking and targeted market segmentation.

Club Boards/Management have an increasing need for quantitative, interfaced data to afford informed decision-making about the club.

Club Managers continue to report feeling pressure due to performance comparisons to benchmarks and competitors in all areas, especially as they relate to dues, fees, compensation, benefits, pricing, and staff levels. Other leaders struggle to meet their Board’s demand for data which has led to an increase in staff hours to track, monitor, analyze, and produce data. Some GMs have found traditional sources of data to be insufficient in providing the data their Board/Owner wants.

Top performers are tracking specific internal and external market KPIs and act upon them to sustain the market position. Many clubs – which lack the comfort of capital or staff resources to execute their own intelligence program – rely on frequent, concise surveys that monitor customer satisfaction, such as the secret shopper program provided so effectively by 59Cub. Some have even tied staff bonus incentives to member/customer satisfaction ratings.

More recently many clubs have turned to subscription-based services such Global Golf Advisors’ Strategic Intelligence Platform to track operating performance, customer satisfaction, and competitive market data all in one central portal.

4. Sustainability

Last July, London’s new Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a ‘crackdown’ on pollutants. His goal is to “Make London one of the World’s most environmentally friendly cities”. His plan to achieve this goal includes amongst other things creating an ‘Ultra-Low Emission Zone in central London by 2019 and beyond central London by 2020.

The fact that Mr. Khan has placed this issue near the very top of his agenda, is a great indicator of just how much influence sustainability and environmentalism has on the public mindset – politicians don’t tend to tackle issues unless they are going to improve their popularity.

Many clubs are now rightly keen to present their sustainability credentials, but to have resonance, consumers want to know the details/specifics and the outcomes. For clubs, this means their efforts in this space should be measured and proactively reported, with the support of a trusted third party.

The Golf Environment Organization is doing extraordinary work in supporting clubs achieve exactly this. Their club tools are not just providing vital guidance on best practice for sustainable performance, but are now also providing measurement and reporting tools to aid in effective communication of the results of such performance.

5. Membership

Gone are the days when most clubs were operating with waitlists and a pipeline full of members lined up to join the club. The reality is that most clubs must now aggressively seek and find new members. Successful clubs are adopting a more data-driven approach to membership recruitment/retention and are adjusting membership and amenity offerings to be more competitive in their business space.

61% of clubs map the location of their members to identify trends and areas for new member growth. Global Golf Advisors recommends that clubs do this annually to maximize membership sales effectiveness.

Six in ten clubs have encountered challenges with an aging membership or growing senior member category. Two-thirds of this group has adopted a set of tactics to address these challenges, among which adjustments to age bands and entry fees are most common solutions.

More than one in four (28%) clubs have experienced a decline in their total number of members in the last 5 years. The annual attrition rate of clubs in the UK is 3.5% while in the rest of Europe that rate is 4.7%.

The top three factors for creating a sustainable membership strategy include

  1. improve overall amenity quality,
  2. embracing modern technologies to complement modern lifestyles, and
  3. further enhancing the club’s platform for connecting its membership.

Trends such as these, although not universally applicable, are highly valuable indicators of change. The capacity to be prepared for change and take advantage of the opportunities that come with it, is what marks a successful club. Best put by Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

Rob Hill is a Partner at GGA with responsibility for their EMEA Office. A former recipient of Boardroom Magazine’s “Strategic Planning Firm of the Year” award, GGA brings an unmatched financial, marketing and operational focus to each of its strategic assignments. The firm serves over 2,700 clients around the world from offices in USA, Canada, Sydney (Asia-Pacific) and Dublin (EMEA). Rob can be reached at

Noteworthy European Golf Club Trends in 2017
More to Win Than the Ryder Cup: The Health Benefits of Golf Fri, 13 May 2016 09:48:35 +0000 Golf & Health The Golf & Health Team look at just a handful of the many benefits of taking part in golf...]]>

By Steffan Griffen, Andrew Murray (@docAndyMurray) & Roger Hawkes

Golf is played by around 55 million people on 32,000 courses in over 100 countries.¹ With over half a billion homes worldwide tuning in for each day of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, a series pitting Europe’s best against the cream of the American crop. We look at the health benefits of playing golf available not only to Rory McIlroy and the game’s elite, but also to those inspired to visit their local course.

Indeed former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George viewed less talented golfers as reaping more benefits than those bestowed upon the likes of McIlroy:

“Golf is the only game where the worst player gets the best of it. He obtains more out of it as regards both exercise and enjoyment, for the good player gets worried over the slightest mistake, whereas the poor player makes too many mistakes to worry about them.”

But what of the available evidence? Do golfers really live longer happier lives?

A landmark Scandinavian study² of over 300,000 golfers estimated they lived a remarkable 5 years longer than those who do not play golf, regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status. Evidence also suggests that golf has a role in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, and has positive mental health effects.


Golf & Walking

A 2006 study³ found a mean of 11,948 steps are taken per 18-hole round, exceeding the commonly recommended daily amount of steps for health.  With technological advances coming into the game, calls have been made to reduce the use and availability of motorised carts to transport players around the course. Cart use reduces walking distance from an average 8+km to 3.86km per round.⁴

Another study⁵ found that walking 18-holes was the equivalent of moderate-high intensity exercise for the elderly, moderate for the middle-aged, and low for the young. A 1998 study⁶ determined that golf should be classified as a form of aerobic training for middle-aged people.


An Inclusive Sport

Golf suits participants of all ages, with people of mixed ability, sex, and age able to play together.  The Walker Research Group concludes: “golf is well suited for the development of social capital” with designated social spaces and natural breaks providing unparalleled socialisation opportunities and thus potential psychosocial benefit to participants of all ages⁷.

A 2006 study⁸ engaged children in non-traditional sports such as golf during extra-curricular time and found that such an intervention coupled with lifestyle activities such as walking, significantly increased physical activity in primary school aged children. This also slowed unhealthy weight gain.

In regards to gender inclusion, the recent news of women winning the right to R&A membership at St. Andrews after a 260-year wait, exhibits a positive step by the game’s administrators to quash these barriers and see more women playing and staying in the game9.


Was David Lloyd George right?

There is clear evidence that regular physical activity, in the form of golf, increases life expectancy.  And although Lloyd George was correct that the benefits can be accrued by players of all abilities, research suggests that low handicap players tend to play more often and have the lowest mortality rates.  Encouraging friends, family, and patients to take part in regular physical activity is time well invested, and golf can offer significant benefit to Joe and Jane Public and Rory McIlroy alike.  Just don’t hire a buggy!



  1. Wilson B. Golf industry facing challenges: BBC News Online:, 2011:Online News Article.
  2. Farahmand B, Broman G, de Faire U, Vagero D, Ahlbom A. Golf: a game of life and death–reduced mortality in Swedish golf players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2009;19(3):419-24.
  3. Kobriger, S. L., Smith, J., Hollman, J. H., & Smith, A. M. (2006). The contribution of golf to daily physical activity recommendations: How many steps does it take to complete a round of golf? May Clinic Proceedings, 81(8), 1041-1043
  4. Sell, T. C, Abt, J. P., Lephart, S, M. (2008) Physical activity-related benefits of walking during golf. Science and Gold V: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. 128-132
  5. Broman, G., Johnsson, L., & kaijser, L. (2004) Golf: a high intensity interval activity for elderly men. Aging – Clinical and Experimental Research, 16(5), 375-381
  6. Magnussen, G. (1998). Science and golf III: Proceedings of the 1998 World Scientific Congress of Golf. (eds.) Martin R. Farrally, Alastair J. Cochran. Human Kinetics
  7. Walker Research Group. The Health & Wellness Benefits of Golf Participation & Involvement. Review of Academic Literature. Golf 20/20 & World Golf Foundation. (2011)
  8. Taylor, R., Mculey, K., Williams, S., Barbezat, W., Nielsen, G., & Mann, J. (2006). Reducing weight gain in children through enhancing physical activity and nutrition: The APPLE project. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 1(3), 146-152
  9. Women win right to R&A membership after 260-year wait as other clubs are told to remove barriers. The Telegraph. Online news article.
More to Win Than the Ryder Cup: The Health Benefits of Golf
10 Ideas for Doing Market Research on the Cheap Tue, 29 Mar 2016 10:16:07 +0000 You're not going to succeed at business without doing market research. But gauging customer sentiment doesn't have to be expensive.]]>

Christina DesMarais is an contributor who writes about the tech startup community, covering innovative ideas, news, and trends. On Google+, add her to one of your circles. Have a tip? Email her at Full bio


You’re not going to succeed at business without doing market research. How else are you going to find out if there will be any kind of demand for your idea, who will want to buy it, the size of the market not to mention how you’re positioned relative to competitors?

The good news is that gauging customer sentiment doesn’t need to be expensive. That’s according to Adam Rossow, partner with iModerate, a Denver-based qualitative research firm which has conducted more than 250,000 one-on-one conversations with client customers in the 11 years the company has been around.

1. Turn industry events into a research venue.

The trade shows and conferences your company attends every year are an opportunity to talk with your target audience. Find out who will be attending and schedule times to get face-to-face with these people, if even for a few minutes.

2. Use a text analytics tool to study the wealth of information you’re already getting from customers.

This software can be rudimentary or complex–anything from a word cloud generator to an enterprise solution. It works by uploading customer feedback from various sources–social media mentions, call center feedback or survey data, for example–and looking for themes. “A lot of companies are drowning in consumer commentary, but are not taking advantage of it,” he says. “So if you don’t have anyone looking at all the commentary already in your feeds, put someone on it and give them a text analytics tool.”

3. Collaborate with other companies to glean insights about consumer sentiment.

It can even be competitors, as long as you’re comfortable with the fact that everyone involved will be getting the same insights. For example, a company in the media entertainment industry that wants to know how audiences are consuming TV could team with one or more of the television networks. “If you really need that research and can’t afford it you can team up with other like-minded companies in the field to try and get at it,” he says.

4. Use social media to crowdsource your research.

Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn to ask simple questions of your fan base. “NPR puts questions on its Facebook page or tweets them out and gets answers that way,” he says. “It’s not going to be the most robust research, but depending on your objectives, the level of bias that you’re OK with, and if it’s the right audience, it’s a good way to get simple questions answered.”


5. A/B test your messages.

Whether it’s an email, digital ad or tagline, test the waters with a couple of versions to see which ones are getting the most engagement and click-throughs. “The downside is you might not really know the motivations and the reasoning behind why one message is doing better than the others, but at least you can [understand] which is the best performing,” he says.

6. Become involved in an industry association.

These kinds of memberships often offer access to copious amounts of research. “There is often a ton of stuff there you can get your hands on that can answer some pretty general questions about the marketplace and where the industry is going,” he says.

7. Use DIY tools.

SurveyMonkey and GutCheck are a couple to check out. “The one thing that I’d caution against is launching those things without having any idea how to ask the proper question and what kind of methodology that’s called for,” he says.

8. Log all your customer input.

Any kind of feedback you’re getting from customers–whether in person, through your call center or via social networks–should be captured. You can’t study customer problems, habits and lifestyles if you don’t harvest and store that information.

9. Start small.

You don’t need to talk to thousands of people if 20 or 30 will give you a good idea what direction to head.

10. Find what’s already out there.

You may be surprised what you can learn by searching the internet for studies that have already been conducted. For example, a wealth of data exists on Millennials regarding how they like to be engaged, what social networks they use and more. While the research you find may not be specific to your industry, you’re wasting money if you’re asking questions that have already been answered.

“You want to use research to either confirm a hypothesis or to get to a new place, where it’s true insight and your company takes away something new that you didn’t know before,” he says.


This article originally appeared on – to view the original article visit

10 Ideas for Doing Market Research on the Cheap
How Will Wearable Technology Change Our Golf Retail Experience? Sat, 16 Jan 2016 14:22:40 +0000 Golf Business Monitor Wearable technology is fast becoming an opportunity for marketers, brands and businesses as usage levels continue to increase and more devices are released with]]>

Wearable technology is fast becoming an opportunity for marketers, brands and businesses as usage levels continue to increase and more devices are released with incredible levels of functionality.

Golf Business Monitor’s Miklós Breitner assesses the ways in which these new devices could be leveraged by your marketing team.

The usage of wearables is not totally new to the golf industry. Those who were lucky enough to attend the Ryder Cup were able to experience the advantages of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). This got me thinking about how pro-shops and other golf retail outlets could utilise wearables.

For many of us, if I ask them about wearables, the following things come to their mind: Google Glass, smartwatches (e.g. Motoactv of Motorola), and activity trackers (e.g. Fitbit). In 2014 there were more searches on Google for wearable devices than for fitness apps.

As usage increases we need to think how could we maximise these technologies to enhance customer experience in pro-shops and golf retail outlets.

Wearble Graph

At the moment I can see 3 major areas where wearable technologies could be utilised – in this first part of the article we’ll look at the first:

Providing more product information

Bricks-and-mortar companies have to compete with online retailers. Needless to say that online it is easier to obtain relevant information (and reviews) about products and services and compare them. Some retailers are already using QR codes to provide extra product information, such as Best Buy in the US adding QR codes to the fact tags.

Our challenge is to find out how to utilise wearable technologies to provide personalised offers and solutions in real-time. Customers today are expecting more and more relevant offers, greater access to deals and promotions and fast checkout (I will talk about payment solutions in the next part of the article). More importantly, once the customer walks in, the store can immediately engage him or her with services.

If the customer opts to provide personal information via wearable, this can give retailers further opportunities for marketing.

Article Header Images_GolfBusinessMonitor - Wearable Technology

I would not neglect the demand generation capability of wearables. Burberry’s solution, launched in 2013 (see video on this page), is a good example where the company embedded a textile RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) label into its products. Burberry were then able to provide bespoke multimedia content specific for certain products.

Another interesting aspect is how your sales team communicates with customers in the pro-shop. We should think how we could support their work with extra information via wearable devices – for example, ongoing communication; remind the shop assistant that he is dealing with a loyal customer and what the customer’s brand preferences are, their shoe size, preferred payment solution etc.

We could also avoid the embarrassing situations when colleagues called to a certain place within the golf club via loudspeaker. In addition to this the wearable can improve employee efficiency, enhance training and reduce nonproductive time.

The Container Store (TCS) for instance in 2014 replaced its walkie-talkie system with Theatro Wearable (a wearable in-store communications device clipped to employees’ shirts) to improve the communication among its workers.

To succeed we must integrate the implemented wearable solutions with our point of sale, CRM, order management, campaign management and web content management systems. For integration to be effective then we are reliant on developers creating programming interfaces/APIs but this will no doubt take place as time goes on. I am less worried about security and privacy since our employees are used to being monitored.

In the upcoming second part of the article Miklós will look at 2 more areas where wearable technology could be utilised.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

How Will Wearable Technology Change Our Golf Retail Experience?
Will A Computer Be Taking Your Future Job? Sun, 10 Jan 2016 17:27:14 +0000 Coaching4Careers But have you really considered the threat of technology? Are your strengths going to future-proof your career? Will you need to work on your weaknesses to find]]>

At the start of each brand new year it’s always a good idea to do a bit of personal SWOT analysis. But have you really considered the threat of technology? Are your strengths going to future-proof your career? Will you need to work on your weaknesses to find a role within a world of automation?

It’s more than 30 years since Time magazine famously named the computer as its ‘Man of the Year’. Our square-faced companions have been encroaching further into our working lives ever since.

Technological unemployment, as it’s known, has long been key issue in the word’s industrialised nations. Between 1900 and 2000 the percentage of Americans employed in agriculture decreased from 41% to just 2%, while the number of US manufacturing workers has fallen by two thirds since World War II.

American employees are by no means alone in their predicament: according to a joint study by Oxford University and Deloitte, about 35% of UK jobs are at high risk of being taken over by computers during the next 20 years. The study ranked around 400 professions against a series of key skills, including social perceptiveness, negotiation and persuasion, to see which were most under threat.

The roles of financial officer, bookkeeper and legal secretary came top, with a 97-99% risk of being automated over the next two decades. Meanwhile, social workers, teachers and therapists can rest easy, with the chance of these roles being ceded to a machine calculated at around 1% or less.

Most roles fall between these two extremes, but the good news here is that there are plenty of ways you can future-proof your career against the inexorable march of the machines.

To start with, you can position yourself in an industry where there is expansion and therefore less need for cost-cutting and automation. Areas such as health and nutrition, sustainability and clean energy are likely to be important sources of job creation going forward.

You should also think about the kind of soft skills you need to be developing alongside your core professional competencies. Think problem-solving, adaptability, and communication, in particular, listening and negotiation skills.

Then of course there is the ‘can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ argument: as long as there’s technology, there will be a need for people who can harness and interpret that technology. It’s never too late to start picking up basic skills in areas such as coding and website design. is just one of a number of free, online platforms that can help get you started.

As history has shown us, professions and entire industries will come and go over time. However, by embracing this technological shift and maintaining a broad skill set, you can stay one step ahead of the curve.

This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at

Credit: Bcdwire; NPR; BBC; HuffingtonPost

Brain vector designed by Freepik
Will A Computer Be Taking Your Future Job?
GoGolf! – A Collaborative Project on Sport, Health & Participation Achieves European Commission Erasmus+ Award Fri, 01 May 2015 14:39:54 +0000 PGAs of Europe Golf Europe, a group of European golf’s major stakeholders, will aim to progress golf’s contribution to European society and the focus it receives within the co]]>

Release On Behalf of Golf Europe:

Approximately 7.9 million European citizens play golf in an industry that contributes over €15.1 billion to the European economy. Golf Europe, a group of European golf’s major stakeholders, will aim to progress golf’s contribution to European society and the focus it receives within the community. The Europe 2020 strategy, which outlines the European Union’s vision for the 21st century, included sustainability as a key driver for economic growth and resource efficiency. In this context, Golf Europe’s activities of growing the sport of golf in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way are in line and contribute to realising Europe’s 2020 vision.

Under Erasmus+, the EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020, the European Commission has awarded funding to the GoGolf! project, which be focused on sport, health and participation with transnational collaboration and two high-level aims:

  • Increasing the evidence base for the health benefits of golf for the European citizen
  • Driving increased participation in the sport at a pan- European level

Download PDF Press Release (1.1MB)

The European Golf Association (EGA) General Secretary, Richard Heath, commented that:

“…The EGA is excited to be in a position to collate and develop the evidence-base of golf in an EU-sponsored project. We feel that a more formal realisation of the benefits will create a cascading effect to benefit the European population through increasing participation at a grass-roots level.”

In the context of EU policy, the project aims to target the recently published Eurobarometer report on Sport and Physical Activity, which found that:

  • 59% of EU citizens never or seldom exercise or play sport at least once a week
  • Almost three-quarters of EU citizens (74%) say that they are not members of any sports club, a 67% increase since 2009.

With golf functioning as a major participation sport across Europe, the GoGolf! project will seek to identify how the European golf community can come together to address some of these impending health challenges for the European Community.

On behalf of The R&A, Steve Isaac, Director of Golf Course Management stated that:

“The Erasmus+ funding for GoGolf! provides a great opportunity for golf to demonstrate its value in providing health benefits to European citizens. Golf is an excellent way to address Europe’s potential health crisis, being a sport providing gentle exercise and one that can be played by all ages.”

A key aim of GoGolf! is to compose a multi-national, multi- stakeholder planning and delivery team which can bring a diverse set of skills, perspectives and resources to the work being undertaken. Partners include: The PGAs of Europe, Portuguese Golf Federation, Estonian Golf Association, Royal Dutch Golf Federation, Czech Golf Federation, French Golf Federation, and the University of St Andrews as a research partner. Coordinating the partners will be the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE). Financial partners include the EGA and the PGA European Tour (PGAET).

Fredrik Lindgren, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at the PGAET said:

“It is great news that European golf has been recognised as a positive contributor to the health enhancing physical activity aims of the European Commission. We look forward to working with our European partners to engage young people in golf across the five countries involved in this Erasmus+ project and to showcase the work at European Tour events and during the European Week of Sport.“

Czech Golf Federation (CGF) Vice-president, Miroslav Holub has stated:

“We believe that this research/project will have a huge impact on CGF’s future projects as well as on future projects implemented by other federations.”

An Expert Advisory Board comprising seven members will contribute strategic value to the initiative, namely:

  • The dynamics, structure and organisation of the European golf sector
  • Golf coaching and specific outreach to minority groups
  • Gender equality
  • Sports management and research
  • The health and social benefits to be gained by all members of society through regular physical activity
  • Youth engagement
  • EU sport policy

In alignment with the EU Physical Activity Guidelines, it is envisioned that the GoGolf! project will offer a valuable contribution towards the wider objective of increasing the physical activity levels of European citizens. Golf can function as an important vehicle for introducing children to sport, providing continuity into later life.

The planned deliverables for the project will include:

  • A core participation-driving framework, which is flexible for integration according to the specific variables of each national environment
  • A platform for pan-European knowledge sharing
  • A published comprehensive overview of the health benefits of playing golf
  • A validated European blueprint for increasing golf participation through targeted junior programmes in EU Member States
  • An information booklet for children on healthy living and the sport of golf
  • An awareness-raising website and promotional film.

The GoGolf! project aligns well with Golf Europe’s strategy to promote golf as a growing sport, valued as a force for good in European society. It is foreseen to be implemented over three years.

For more information, please contact the Golf Europe office:

GoGolf! – A Collaborative Project on Sport, Health & Participation Achieves European Commission Erasmus+ Award
The R&A ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF PACE OF PLAY SURVEY AND PLANS FOR INDUSTRY FORUM Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:56:47 +0000 PGAs of Europe The R&A has announced the results of a pace of play survey, with an industry forum to discuss the findings planned for later in the year.]]>

The R&A has announced the results of a pace of play survey, with an industry forum to discuss the findings planned for later in the year.

The survey received more than 56,000 responses from golfers in 122 countries between September 2014 and March 2015. It was carried out by The R&A as part of its efforts to investigate the issues affecting golf and the extent to which they impact on participation in the sport.

The survey revealed that while 70% of golfers are largely happy with the duration of their rounds, 60% of golfers expressed the view that they would enjoy golf more if they played in less time.

Importantly, of the 25-44 year-olds who said that they were never happy with pace of play, 21% said that golf would need to take as much as one-and-a-half hours less for them to play more often. Of the 8,468 golfers in this age range who responded, 19% said they would welcome the opportunity to play nine holes more often as an alternative format.

Microsoft Word - Report Summary of questions Version 1.0.docx

The survey found that the two biggest factors preventing people from playing golf are work commitments (34%) and family commitments (29%) with the time taken to play (16%) ranked third. Other factors mentioned were alternative hobbies (12%), cost of play (7%), difficulty of play (1%) and cost of equipment (1%); although there were some regional variations on these percentages.

The R&A is organising a forum later this year where it will invite contributions from a range of organisations in golf on addressing pace of play and explore the key areas of player behaviour, management approaches and golf course issues.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Working for Golf at The R&A, said, “This survey is the first step for us in examining, in detail, the wide range of issues currently affecting participation in golf. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence available but we conducted the survey to obtain accurate data on how much of an issue pace of play is for golfers and to give us an insight into what they see as the main factors contributing to slow rounds.

“We feel that the next step in this process is to engage with our partners throughout the golf industry to look at these findings and invite them to contribute their views to these important discussions. Our forum later this year will provide the opportunity for these discussions to take place.”

The R&A distributed the survey through its affiliated bodies around the world and it was offered in six languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Click here to download the report

KPMG Publishes New Study on European Mediterranean Golf Resorts Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:59:15 +0000 KPMG Golf Advisory Practice has published the study titled “Golf Resorts in the European Mediterranean Region” analysing the current trends and future outlook f]]>

KPMG Golf Advisory Practice has published the study titled “Golf Resorts in the European Mediterranean Region” analysing the current trends and future outlook for development and operations.

PGAs of Europe Media Partner,, spoke to Andrea Sartori, Partner KPMG Advisory, Head of Golf Advisory Services in EMA, about the new study.

Click Here to View the Interview in Full at

Andrea, KPMG Golf Advisory Practice continues to publish meaningful thought leadership on the golf sector. You have recently produced a new study on golf resorts. Why have you chosen this time for the study?

Yes, you are right; the KPMG Golf Advisory Practice leads the way in thought leadership in the golf industry. Last year we published the Golf Cost Development Survey for Europe, Middle East and Africa and in a couple of weeks we will publish the annual European Golf Participation Survey.

The report on integrated golf resorts comes at a time when the property sector is slowly coming out of the global economic crisis and with this in mind, we believe it is a good time to investigate the development of and future outlook for integrated golf resorts in greater detail. Our analysis has shown that whilst some integrated golf resorts did open during the crisis years, the rate of growth slowed significantly. Today we are seeing a returning level of interest in the sector.

At the same time the golf holiday market has shown signs of continued growth in the past few years, with global golf holiday sales growing by more than 20% between 2011 and 2013.

Click here to download the report


Explain the general concept behind integrated golf resorts?

First of all is important to observe that there is not a commonly accepted definition of what constitutes a resort. In our study, we have considered a resort as a planned development comprising one or more golf courses, hospitality facilities and/or residential real estate for sale. The subject of our study is golf resorts located within 20 km of the coast of European Mediterranean countries, as well as the coast of Portugal. We also define an integrated golf resort as being planned and developed as one mixed-use project.

The key element of the market that we have analysed is the inclusion of golf as a main feature of the resort. Increasingly the concept of a golf resort has been backed up with a range of other sports and leisure facilities, but it is the combination of all of these components that can contribute to the success of an integrated golf resort.

How has the concept changed over the years?

Costa Navarino Bay Course – operated by Troon Golf. (photograph courtesy of Kevin Murray)
Golf resorts have existed since the early 20th century. In the early days the concept comprised more simply a hotel and a golf course or courses.

As holiday patterns changed, and with a greater availability of means of travel, the resort market boomed and a holiday residential market started to grow. From the 1980s the proportion of integrated golf resorts featuring residential real estate for sale increased and between 2000 and 2009 as many resorts opened including holiday real estate as those including only a hotel.

Interestingly in many cases developers focussed on real estate sales have chosen to include a hotel as well. This often make sense as the hotel can provide a range of facilities which add to the attractiveness of the resort as a whole, a brand that can help to position the resort and establish credibility in the eyes of real estate buyers.

Why has the residential real estate-golf combination grown in importance?

The key answer to this question lies in the potential returns on investment from residential sales. In terms of positioning the resort in the eyes of potential consumers; golf remains a key driver to higher premiums in real estate or tourist developments. Golf courses come second only to waterfront sites as the most desirable location for a housing community.

In a recent survey of resort developers carried out by KPMG, nearly half of the respondents indicated that the real estate sales price premium generated by a golf course was in excess of 20%. Almost all survey respondents indicated that a premium was achieved on residential real estate as a result of a golf course.

It is important to realise that many people who purchase real estate in an integrated golf resort may not actually play golf. Rather they are attracted by the thought of living on a golf course – the green areas of the fairways, the lifestyle and the sense of “prestige” associated with living beside a golf course. In addition there is a greater potential of increased investment value of a golf course home.

In today’s market, how important is the use of a “branded” golf architect and internationally branded hotels?

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club – Nicklaus Design (photograph courtesy of Aidan Bradley)
This is an area on which we are frequently asked to give advice. Increasingly in today’s golf and hospitality markets, the issue of brand is of key importance. It can be key to raising the profile of a resort.

Our research showed that in the last fifteen years around a third of all new golf courses have been designed by firms of architects associated with a well-known golfer. Interestingly in the last five years, this proportion has grown to 60%. Furthermore, our study demonstrated that residential real estate on a resort with a “branded” golf course achieves a greater premium. 35% of the resorts studied estimated a premium above 10%, and 25% estimated a premium of between 6%-10%.

The same is perhaps true in terms of the use of international hotel brands. Certainly a well-known hotel brand can assist in raising the profile of a resort and nearly 40% of all hotels in resorts covered by our study are operated under an international brand. It is however interesting to note that there is no brand that currently has leadership in this market.

Is now a good time to be developing a golf resort?

It appears that we are into a phase of modest recovery following the economic crisis – our experience shows that this can be seen to an early extent in the second home property market. It appears that it is more in the market for higher quality properties and unique concept that are attracting more attention in the early stages of the recovery.

At the moment we are noticing that second home buyers from key feeder markets – such as UK, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia – are beginning to explore once again the idea of buying second or third homes in golf resorts in Southern Europe. The CIS regions and Russia, prior to the Ukrainian crisis, were also emerging as potential buyers.

We are seeing a revival in developer confidence in some areas. This despite the fact that there is still limited debt financing available for green field golf related projects. In facts, banks have not shown the same kind of openness to green field development at this time and they are rather interested in investing in the extension of existing successful properties. Existing resorts are now investing in repositioning themselves and in some cases projects which were halted and are currently under development are revising their original concept in order to become more attractive in the changing market. It is perhaps in some emerging countries that greater future potential exist.

Where in the European Mediterranean do you see the potential for golf resort development?

More established markets such as Spain, Portugal and to a lesser extent France and Italy, have a mature integrated golf resort supply. Especially in Spain, at least for a few years, there will be a limited number of new projects, whereas emerging markets currently have the least supply and potentially offer the most opportunity. Our study has demonstrated that there are improved prospects for new developments in emerging golf resort markets, such as Croatia, Montenegro, Cyprus and Turkey. Despite the uncertain economic and political situation, Greece could also be an interesting market in the mid-term.

In the next five years we expect to see growth in the number of resorts in the above mentioned emerging markets and the South of Italy, which has phenomenal golf tourism potential. One problem that has surfaced in general is the lack of suitable available land and a low prioritization of golf in national tourism program. What we have observed is that if emerging destinations wish to compete against mature destinations, the concepts of resorts need to be based on mix of components focused on niches which differentiate them from competitors.

KPMG Golf Advisory Practice:

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KPMG Publishes New Study on European Mediterranean Golf Resorts
Sports Marketing Surveys Inc. Announces 2014 Golf Participation Figures Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:49:50 +0000 SMS Inc. Leading sports research company and PGAs of Europe Media Partner, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. (SMS INC.), are a vastly experienced research group that help or]]>

Leading sports research company and PGAs of Europe Media Partner, SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. (SMS INC.), are a vastly experienced research group that help organisations to use data to inform their business and marketing decisions.

Here they reveal the results of their investigation into British golfers and their playing habits, information which could be useful not only in Great Britain, but also further afield as markers of performance and evidence of trends throughout the sport…

Golf participation in GB finally stabilised in 2014, just above the 3.3 million mark, offering hope to the golf industry after a decade of decay. This succeeds news that 2014 saw an increase in the number of rounds played by 3.5% compared to 2013 (SMS INC. 2014 GB Rounds Played Monitor) following a warm and dry summer, without any major UK based major sporting events.  A local and victorious Ryder Cup in Scotland – with good weather around it – will have boosted interest and play frequency.

Further good news from additional SMS INC. intelligence confirms that equipment sales in GB have levelled across most categories in terms of volume and value, suggesting the ‘downturn’ is over.

Although golf participation remains at its lowest level for over a decade, SMS INC.’s study signposts clear progression and opportunities for the sport to grow. For the second consecutive year female participation has risen, as has the number of ‘avid’ golfers (who play at least once a week on average). It is this group of golfers (Avid) who define and guide the sport, so the industry should be buoyed by the additional 53,000 players whose play frequency brought them into this dedicated category in 2014.

As per the 2013 statistics, a cause for concern is the number of ‘infrequent’ golfers, who play less than 12 times a year, which is at its lowest on record in this millennium (1,786,000). Time is a major factor influencing player numbers, and may be the significant reason behind the decline in infrequent golfers.

Richard Payne, Senior Manager of Sports Accounts at SMS INC. commented, “Whilst the 2014 figures give the golf industry reason to be more positive, the continued decline of infrequent golfers remains a challenge that needs to be overcome.

SMS INC. has continuously stressed the importance of the ‘three F’s’ – Fun, Flexible, and Family’, a vision which the industry must fully adopt following these latest figures, to convert both first-time triallists and new golfers who may be using driving ranges into full-length course users, and secondly to prevent the loss of more infrequent players.”

SMS INC’s participation report also examines golfs position in comparison to other sports. As per recent years swimming, running and cycling are the top three sports in GB in terms of participation, and all exude the image – ‘Fun, Flexible and Family’.

Sports Marketing Surveys Inc. Announces 2014 Golf Participation Figures
The R&A publishes report on golf facilities around the world Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:50:29 +0000 PGAs of Europe The R&A has published a new report detailing the precise number of golf facilities around the world for the first time.]]>

The R&A has published a new report detailing the precise number of golf facilities around the world for the first time.

The unprecedented report has been produced by the National Golf Foundation (NGF), a golf market research organisation based in the USA, and sets out the extent of golf’s development worldwide.

The report reveals that, by the end of 2014, there were 34,011 golf facilities in 206 countries around the world. It shows that 79% of these facilities are located in ten countries: the USA, Japan, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, France, Scotland, South Africa and Sweden.

Although the USA is home to 45% of the world’s golf facilities and Europe to 22%, the report also states that there are 50 countries with only one golf facility compared to 30 with more than 100 and eight (outside the USA) with more than 500.

The report tracks the development of golf worldwide and finds that 696 golf courses are under construction or in advance planning. While 80% of these new projects are in Asia, Europe and North America, there are clear signs the sport is spreading with countries such as Belarus, Azerbaijan and Georgia opening their first golf courses in the last two years and initial courses under construction in countries as diverse as Macedonia and Sao Tome and Principe.

Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A said, “The new report provides a fascinating insight in to the development of golf around the world and gives us a precise measure of the number of facilities for the first time. It will provide a benchmark for future monitoring and enable us to identify areas of potential growth. The NGF has done an excellent job in conducting this research which we believe will be extremely useful for the golf industry at large.”

The R&A has provided funding for the creation of the definitive worldwide database and report which provides a benchmark for measuring the extent of golf’s global footprint. The NGF team spent four years and 25,000 working hours surveying golf facilities around the world using global information sources, satellite/mapping imagery and on-the-ground contacts.

The report will be produced biennially and will allow monitoring of the sport’s development in future years.

Click here to download the The Golf around the world report

The R&A publishes report on golf facilities around the world