The number of registered golfers in Scotland fell by more than 6,000 from 2015 to 2016, according to an annual report released by KPMG.
The report – Golf Participation Report for Europe 2017 – examined current demand and supply trends in the golf industry across Europe, with the home of golf losing more golfers than any other country.
Statistics show that there were 192,533 registered golfers in Scotland in 2016, a fall of 6,711 (3.37%) from the 199,244 recorded a year earlier. In comparison to other European countries, only Czech Republic – a fall of 2,034 – lost more than 2,000 golfers.
Scotland also lost 19 courses during the same period – the most of any European country. The home of golf now has 578 courses, with an average of 333 registered golfers per course.
The overall picture of golf in Europe, though, is positive. The number of golfers has increased by 82,584 – an increase of almost 2%.
Across the border in England is where a large chunk of that number has come from, with numbers up 29,520 (1.27%) from 665,103 in 2015 to 694,623 in 2016.
Spain, meanwhile, has increased its number of golfers by 28,103 (10.12%) and the Netherlands by 18,278 (4.78%).
Other key highlights from the report is the distribution of registered golfers in Europe – 67% male, 25% female and 8% junior. This differs in Scotland with a make-up of 80% male, 12% female and 8% junior.
“Our research demonstrates that the number of registered golfers showed a slight increase, by 2% (+82,584 players), while the supply of golf courses declined by 28 courses (24 openings and 52 closures),” said KPMG global head of sports, Andrea Sartoti.
“Forty-six per cent of European countries surveyed experienced a growth in participation rates, 35% showed stability and in 19% of the countries surveyed demand declined.”