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Quality of England’s courses recognised by overseas visitors

The quality of England’s golf courses has been recognised by golfers from across the continent, following a study conducted by SPORTS MARKETING SERVICES INC. on behalf of Golf Tourism England (GTE) as part of the VisitEngland administered Discover England Fund.

As part of GTE’s commitment as the membership body representing the golf tourism industry in England to attract overseas golfers, the survey highlighted the international perceptions of England as a golf tourism destination.

Andrew Cooke, CEO Golf Tourism England, explained: “The quality and breadth of courses England has to offer is second to none. We are truly spoilt for choice and golfers from around the globe are inspired to play here. All of our courses provide a warm welcome to golfers from far and wide and provide the quality of experience that visitors expect from one of the world’s best-established golfing markets.

“These findings further emphasise the impact of our work and its growing importance in ensuring golfers across Europe and further afield are aware of the quality of England’s golf offer.”

The survey of golfers from Sweden, Germany and France demonstrated the reputation for quality golf courses England enjoys. Each of these nations has been identified by GTE as a key market from which to attract potential visitors.

Among Swedish golfers surveyed, 83 per cent indicated they would rate England as a ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ golf holiday destination due to the quality of its golf courses alone. England was also ranked first among Swedish golfers when asked which country in the UK & Ireland they would be interested in taking a holiday to in the next three years, with 81 per cent indicating they would be either ‘Interested’ or ‘Very Interested’.

Moreover, German golfers identified England as possessing the ‘Best Courses’ in the UK and Ireland, with almost two thirds (59 per cent) rating the country’s layouts as either ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’. In addition, 69 per cent of German golfers associated England with ‘Good Golf Courses’ while the majority of those surveyed (59 per cent) agreed that the volume of ‘Good courses close together’ would be the main factor in any decision to choose England as a golfing destination.

French golfers offered similar responses in reaction to England’s golf course offering; 69 per cent rated England as a ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ golf holiday destination in terms of the quality of its golf courses and more than half (52 per cent) said ‘Good quality courses’ would be their main motivation for travelling to England.

In addition to this, the result also revealed that England’s historic image (Sweden 60 per cent, Germany 44 per cent, France 48 per cent) and the challenging nature of its golf courses (Sweden 48 per cent, Germany 67 per cent, France 37 per cent) resonate with overseas golfers, who strongly associated these descriptions with England.

Richard Payne, Director of SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. commented: “It’s great to see from the research undertaken how popular golf in England is with golfers from key destinations across Europe. The quality, history and pedigree of golf in England has been reaffirmed by this research and it’s encouraging to see the work Golf Tourism England are undertaking to support driving more international golfers to play in England paying off.”