Social Benefits of Golf Are Increasingly Attractive
The reasons why people first started playing golf have changed during the past decade, a comprehensive survey conducted by Golfshake has found, highlighting the attractive benefits of the sport in a modern age.
Continuing our 'How Did You Get Into Golf' series of data analysis, we are able to assess the differences between those who have played golf for over ten years compared to new golfers.
Surveying 2,800 members of the Golfshake Community throughout the winter of 2020/21, the respondents were made up of 68% club golfers and 32% non-members, while over 600 (25%) of those completing the survey had started playing golf within the past decade. The data sample also had an even split of 50/50 between golfers aged under 45 and golfers aged over 45.
We asked - What was the primary reason you started playing golf?
Allowing respondents to submit multiple reasons, the most common being; taking up a new activity, to join friends or work colleagues, participating with family members, the social aspect, due to stopping other sports, for the competitive aspect, or related to work and business networking.
Comparing the newer golfers with more established players, the percentage stating they took up golf for a new activity or to join friends or work colleagues stood consistently. However, those noting the factor of participating with other family members was down from 30.9% to 25.9%.
But the most striking findings within the data were the shifts in relation to social benefits, stopping other sports, and the general health and wellbeing aspects of the game.
Among golfers who started playing within the past ten years, the numbers selecting both the social aspect and stopping other sports had risen significantly, up from 23.8% to 37.4% for the social aspect and up from 21.5% to 30.5% for stopping other sports.
Much has been published covering the general benefits that golf can offer for health and mental wellbeing, so it won't come as a surprise that this was selected as a primary motivation to play by 35.6% of respondents who had played less than a decade, compared to just 14.7% of those more tenured players.
The Social Aspect of Golf
Golf is a social activity by nature and the data from the survey clearly backed this up. However, it is also evident in more recent times the strong correlation between taking up the game with the social interaction, and camaraderie ranking alongside the other physical and mental health benefits.
This was further presented in that only 26% of respondents said they hadn't yet introduced anyone else to golf. However, the average golfer (54.8%) stated they had introduced at least 1-3 people to golf, with 10.9% stating they had introduced 4-7 people, and a stunning 8.2% of those surveyed having introduced 8 or more people to the game.
Finally, just 11% stated they had a small golf social circle of 1-3 golfers, with 25% reporting a golf circle of 4-7 golfers, 20% with a social golf circle of 8-10 golfers, 15% with 11-19 golfers, and a staggering 29% stating their golf social circle had 20+ people included. Quite clearly this aligns with one of the major benefits of golf club membership, demonstrating that 51.1% of club members have a network of more than 11 golfers compared to just 26.7% for the non-club members.
Additionally, we also asked golfers to rank - How important were the following when you started out playing golf?
The data showcases that accessing other golfers and having the support of an existing player was vital to start with, underlining the importance of that encouragement and the social benefits of the sport, providing further weight to the above findings.
As the game progresses further into the 21st century and a post-pandemic world, the ability of golf to connect people, building up relationships with others, spending valuable time with friends and family, is set to become an increasingly attractive factor.
Golfers more than ever before value the social aspect of the game, and that will only continue in the years ahead.
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