Leading sports research company Sports Marketing Surveys has announced a year on year decrease in the number of rounds played during the final quarter of 2015.
SMS has confirmed that the average number of rounds of golf played across the England, Wales and Scotland during the final quarter of 2015 is down 7% on the 4th quarter 2014. All regions suffered a decrease in rounds played this quarter when compared to the same period the year before which has resulted in the positive start to the year being cancelled out and the year-end month average finishing level with 2014.
Nationally, rounds were up in October by 5%, but this was overshadowed by the November and December figures, resulting in an overall decrease. The North suffered the worst results, with November and December seeing reductions of almost 30% when compared to rounds played in the final quarter of 2014. This was partly due to the rainfall and storms that descended upon the UK during what was the warmest December since 1910. Scotland saw the best results, with a decrease of just 2.2% compared to the year before.
Another factor that may have had some influence on the number of rounds played was the Rugby World Cup, which ran throughout October, and featured regular coverage of the home nations.
SMS senior manager Richard Payne commented: “Whilst the deluge of rain rendered golf almost unplayable at the end of the year throughout the country, it is imperative that we put 2015’s total performance in perspective and take note that rounds played remained stable with 2014 which at the time was the best year since 2010. This stability after successive years of decline is a positive and one that the industry is well placed to capitalise on in 2016 with several new initiatives.”