how many people play golf in the uk

Tee Time: How Many People Play Golf in the UK?

Last Updated on May 29, 2023

Golf is one of the most popular sports in the UK. Many people play golf in the UK, but what does that mean? What motivates the British to take up golfing, and why is it such a beloved pastime? From its origins to modern-day adaptations, it’s clear that golf has a long history here in Britain. But where will it go from here? In this blog post, we’ll take an overview of how many people play golf in the UK, who plays it and explore potential future directions for this beloved game. So grab your clubs, and let’s tee off.

Table of Contents:

Golf in the UK: A Brief Overview

Golf in the UK has a long and storied history. It is thought that golf was initially played in the UK during the 1400s, with it being referred to as ‘gouf’ or ‘gowf’. Since then, golf has become increasingly popular in Britain, with many courses now available for play.

The most common type of course found in the UK is an 18-hole championship layout. These are typically designed by professional golfers and feature challenging fairways, greens and bunkers that require skilful shot-making from all levels of players. Some courses also offer 9-hole layouts, which can be great for beginners or those looking for a quick round of golf.

Apart from the standard courses, various other facilities are accessible across the nation. Driving ranges allow players to practice their swing without having to commit to playing a full round on a course, while mini-golf offers an enjoyable experience for families or groups who want something less competitive than regular golfing activities.

For those wanting more adventure on their rounds, some courses provide unique features such as water hazards or island greens, which add extra challenge and excitement during play. Additionally, some clubs offer additional services such as lessons from PGA professionals or access to clubhouses where members can socialize after their games have finished.

At regular intervals throughout the year, a multitude of tournaments is hosted at various sites in Britain – from amateur games to renowned championships such as The Open Championship held annually in July. These competitions attract thousands of spectators each year and provide great entertainment both on television and live at the event itself.

Golfing in the UK is a widely-enjoyed activity by folks of all ages and skill levels. From casual players to professional athletes, it’s clear that this sport has something for everyone – but who exactly makes up the golfing community in the UK? Let’s delve deeper into the composition of golfers in the UK.

Key Takeaway: Golf in the UK is a popular pastime, with many courses available and additional features such as driving ranges and mini-golf to enjoy. The UK boasts some of the most thrilling golf competitions in the globe, drawing players from all proficiency tiers to partake in its renowned tournaments.

Who Plays Golf in the UK?

a small ball made of plastic and rubber

Golf is a widely-enjoyed pastime in the UK, with around 2.5 million participants across its four constituent nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Golfing offers a great opportunity to get out and relish the outdoors while also being able to move around and stay active. But who exactly are these players?

The typical age of golfers in the UK is roughly 50, though there are still plenty of younger individuals playing. According to recent surveys, more than half of all golfers in the country are between 25-54 years old. This means that there’s still plenty of room for growth among younger generations looking to take up the game.


While traditionally seen as a male-dominated sport, women have been increasingly taking up golf over recent years. In fact, almost 40% of all British golfers now identify as female – making it one of the most gender-balanced sports in terms of participation levels.

Socioeconomic Status

Golf can be expensive due to its equipment costs and membership fees at private clubs; however, this doesn’t mean only wealthy individuals play it. Recent studies suggest that nearly two-thirds (64%)of all UK golfers come from middle or lower-income households – proving you don’t need deep pockets to enjoy this wonderful pastime.


Where do these millions of British golfers play? Most tend to stick close to their homes – according to research conducted by VisitEngland, around three-quarters (73%) prefer local courses within 15 miles from where they live. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty more options further away – such as championship courses like St Andrews or Turnberry, which attract thousands each year from across Europe and beyond.

From professional golfers to the occasional weekend golfer, it is clear that golf has a wide range of appeal in the UK. Nevertheless, as new trends and technological breakthroughs emerge, it will be fascinating to observe the potential influence they may have on golf’s trajectory in the UK.

Key Takeaway: Golfing is a widely-loved activity in the UK, with an average age of 50 and almost 40% female participants; its appeal spans across social classes, typically played on courses located within 15 miles of their dwellings.

The Future of Golf in the UK

The future of golf in the UK looks bright. With new initiatives being introduced by governing bodies, such as England Golf’s ‘Golf Roots’ program, more people than ever are taking up the sport. England Golf’s ‘Golf Roots’ program strives to render golf enjoyable and open for all ages and skill levels throughout England in an effort to invigorate the future of the sport within the UK.

In an effort to make golf more open and enjoyable for all, the R&A has implemented various alterations to regulations that are expected to be advantageous for both players and clubs. For example, the Royal & Ancient (R&A) has recently announced plans to reduce slow play on courses by introducing a maximum time limit for each hole played. This will help speed up rounds and ensure everyone enjoys their round without having to wait too long between shots or holes.

Another area where progress is being made is in terms of technology used in courses. Many clubs now use GPS systems which allow players to track their ball’s location at any given time during a round, as well as provide detailed information about hazards and other features on the course itself. This helps improve accuracy when playing shots and can even be used for practice purposes off-course too.

Finally, many clubs are also investing in modern equipment, such as automated teeing machines, which provide an efficient way of getting players onto tees quickly with minimal effort required from staff members or volunteers at busy times throughout the day. These technologies are helping streamline processes so that everyone can enjoy their game faster while still maintaining safety standards set out by governing bodies like R&A or USGA (United States Golf Association).

Key Takeaway: Golf in the UK is becoming increasingly accessible and enjoyable for all ages, with initiatives such as England Golf’s ‘Golf Roots’ program and modern technologies like GPS systems and automated teeing machines helping to streamline processes.


Golf in the UK is a popular sport with many people taking part. From those who are just starting out to seasoned professionals, golfers of all levels can be found across the country. The future of golf in the UK looks bright as more and more people take up this wonderful game. For those seeking a stimulating pursuit or an invigorating contest, golf in the UK is sure to provide – so why not give it a go? After all, with so many people already playing golf here, what have you got to lose?

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