How many people in the world play golf?

Here at Cash Fore Clubs, we love golf. So we are thrilled that a growing number of the world’s population are enjoying our favourite sport too! We’ve spoken a bit about the rise in the number of women who play golf, but we haven’t really talked much about just how popular the sport is across the globe. So, how many people actually play golf across the world and why has it increased so much over the last few years?

How many people play golf?

Discovering exactly how many people in the world play golf is more difficult than you’d think. Data is constantly changing, and some may be incomplete or incorrect. However, the Global Golf Participation report from 2023 shows that over 61 million people engaged with golf across the world. The report also states that there has been a 15% increase in the number of registered and unregistered and 9-hole and 18-hole golf players since 2020. 

According to a report by HSBC, 24% of 18-64 year old adults worldwide have an interest in golf. However, they are pretty vague about what ‘an interest’ means. This does showcase, though, the global reach that golf has!

How many golfers are there in the UK?

Research by the R & A shows that 5.6 million adults played on nine or 18 hole golf courses in 2022 in the UK and Ireland, the second highest number of players in over 30 years!

And it’s not just the number of people who play golf that has increased. The number of rounds played by golf club members jumped up 81% in three years from 2019 to 2022 as well!

How many people play golf in Europe?

The European Golf Participation Report 2023 found that there are over 14 million registered and unregistered 9 & 18 hole golfers across Europe. England’s golfers make up 24% of this total. 

The 2023 report also found that, despite having less land area than other continents, ‘European countries such as England, Germany, France, Sweden and Scotland all appear in the top ten countries ordered by number of courses, with Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Italy placed between 10th and 20th.’

As well as this, Europe is home to 15 of the 20 countries with the highest proportion of junior players among their registered golfers.

How many people in the United States play golf?

According to the National Golf Foundation, 41.1 million Americans aged six and over played golf in 2022. This includes 25.6 million people who played on a golf course, and another 15.5 million who played golf exclusively in off-course locations, such as driving ranges, indoor golf simulators, or golf entertainment venues.

The NGI also reports that, ‘while 2022 was down about 4% year-over-year from 2021’s record high, it still ranks among the top four years for U.S. play on record. The 2022 rounds total still finished up 13% versus the five-year, pre-pandemic average from 2015-19.’

Why has the number of people grown so much in recent years?

There has been a surge in the number of players in golf since the pandemic, mainly because of it being one of the first outdoor activities to be permitted following months of strict lockdown rules.

Research indicates that the growth in golf’s popularity actually started prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. During this period, the sport gained even more popularity, driven by its appeal as a safe outdoor activity that allowed players to maintain social distancing, while promoting physical and mental well-being.

Studies have also shown that, in the United Kingdom, the number of adults playing nine or 18-hole golf courses gradually increased even before COVID-19. It rose from 2.5 million in 2017 to 2.8 million in 2018, followed by a further climb to 3 million in 2019. Subsequently, there was a notable surge to 5.2 million in 2020.

How Cash Fore Clubs can help

Interested in playing golf but haven’t yet taken the first hit? Cash Fore Clubs are here to help!

We have a range of new and second hand golf clubs for sale, and we also have other golf equipment, including golf balls, golf bags and golf clothing available to purchase.

We have a number of resources dedicated to golfing newbies over on our Learn to Play Golf page, and we also offer golf lessons at our Chippenham store

Contact us today to find out how we can help you get into golf, and visit our store if you’re in the Chippenham area!

CFC Condition Guide


5  – BRAND NEW – never been hit.
4 – VERY GOOD – This club has been hit a handful of times, may have a few very minimal marks.
3 – GOOD – This club has been used for a few rounds, shows signs of use but no major dings or chips.
2 – FAIR – Well used, still in completely playable condition but will show signs of wear and tear. Minor stone chips may be visible on the sole.
1 – POOR – This club will have heavy play marks, paint missing, with visible dents and chips.

NOT SELLABLE – major dents or stone chips on playing surface of club.


5  – BRAND NEW – still in wrapper – never been used.
4 – VERY GOOD – Have been hit a few times, but could still pass as new.
3 – GOOD – No major marks, but may show light signs of use, for example light scratching.
2 – FAIR – Signs of wear and tare, but no major bag rub and no rust marks. stickers may be starting to peel.
1 – POOR – Very visibly used with various age-related marks. Shaft sticker may be peeled or missing.

NOT SELLABLE – major bag rub or major pitting and rusting of shaft.


5 – BRAND NEW – As it says on the tin, this grip is brand new, with protective wrapper still in place.
4 – VERY GOOD – 
As new and completely clean, would only have been played a handful of times.
3 – GOOD
 – Played with, showing some minor imperfections, but have plenty of golf left in them.
2 – USED – Well used, with some more obvious imperfections. Still playable, but will likely need replacing fairly soon.
1 – POOR – Needs replacing with rubber shiny and splitting.

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