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Female and family friendly policies needed to attract new golfers

One of the most notable findings in a new survey published by Syngenta is that up to 700,000 women and young people in the UK are ‘very interested in taking up golf this summer’. The new research coincides with National Golf Month and follows on from Syngenta’s recently published ‘Growing Golf in the UK’ (2013) report, indicating a total of nearly two million people in the UK have a strong interest in the sport.

More than 2,000 UK residents were questioned as part of the survey undertaken in April 2014 for a new study called ‘The Opportunity to Grow Golf’ (2014), to be published later this year. The research, conducted by GfK, one of the world’s largest market research firms, found that five percent of women (aged 19 to 64), were ‘very interested in taking up golf this summer’, while 30 percent were ‘somewhat or little interested’. Among young people (aged 14 to 18), three percent said they were ‘very interested in taking up golf this summer’, while 68 percent said they were ‘somewhat or little interested’.

Syngenta’s previous report, ‘Growing Golf in the UK (2013)’ found that there was a need for clubs and courses to become more female and family friendly, with flexible membership options and more relaxed rules and regulations. It also indicated the need for access to affordable golf lessons and, in the case of women, a preference for female-only beginner classes. Regular, committed golfers, golf clubs’ most valuable customers, indicated their desire for the best course conditions.

Simon Elsworth, Syngenta head of turf and landscape (EAME), stated, “What we have found is a very strong interest in golf and an indication that this is a fertile market with a specific opportunity to grow the game around female and youth participation. However, how many of these prospects can be converted into regular golfers depends on a multitude of factors from access to affordable golf lessons to the friendliness and flexibility of golf clubs and courses.”

‘The Opportunity to Grow Golf (2014)’ will be published later this year. ‘Growing Golf in the UK (2013)’ can be downloaded free of charge at: www.greencast.co.uk