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R&A survey tackles pace of play issue

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 percent of golfers are largely happy with the duration of their rounds, 60 percent of golfers expressed the view that they would enjoy golf more if they played in less time.
Importantly, of the 25 to 44 year-olds who said that they were never happy with pace of play, 21 percent 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 percent said they would welcome the opportunity to play nine holes more often as an alternative format.

The survey found that the two biggest factors preventing people from playing golf are work commitments (34 percent) and family commitments (29 percent) with the time taken to play (16 percent) ranked third. Other factors mentioned were alternative hobbies (twelve percent), cost of play (seven percent), difficulty of play (one percent) and cost of equipment (one percent); 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.

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. The report is available to download at: www.randa.org/en/RandA/Downloads-and-Publications.aspx