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Golf News: - Posted 31st March 1998

US golf continues to increase

Jupiter, Florida - The National Golf Foundation (NGF) has announced that 1997 was a very good year for the growth of golf in the United States.

After completing a top-line analysis of the participation and rounds played data for last year, it announced that overall, the total number of golfers aged 12 and above increased by more than 7% to 26.5 million golfers. The total number of rounds played increased by almost 15% to 547 million. This represents the first significant increase in golfers and rounds played since the NGF first posted results in 1990.

The increases were fuelled by junior and beginning golfers, an excellent sign for future growth. It also appeared that a significant number of "occasional" golfers graduated to the "moderate" (more frequent play) category during 1997. Avid golfers also increased in numbers.

The results are based on an exclusive NGF survey of 60,000 households administered between December 1997 and February 1998. These participation estimates are based on the largest sample of households ever identified by the NGF.

Golfers 1996 1997 Change
Total golfers (in thousands) 24,373 26,474 7.0%
Junior (in thousands) 1,761 2,356 33.8%
Beginner (in thousands) 1,959 2,962 51.2%
Occasional (in thousands) 11,626 10,619 -8.7%
Moderate (in thousands) 6,084 7,895 29.8%
Avid (in thousands) 5,266 5,602 6.4%
Rounds Played 1996 1997 Change
All golfers (average rounds per year) 19.3 20.7 7.3%
Total rounds (in millions) 477.4 547.2 14.6%
Junior ages 12-17, played at least one round in the given year
Beginner played for the first time in the past year
Occasional age 18 and above, played 1-7 rounds in the given year
Moderate ages 18 and above, played 8-24 rounds in a given year
Avid Ages 18 and above, played 25+ rounds in a given year