Economy of golf in Europe
Golf is slowly making a mark in Europe. Membership is on the rise and there are plenty of courses, thus improving the image of the game among the general public. The market has experienced tremendous growth in France. Indeed, the number of golfers has almost doubled in ten years, rising to almost 370,000 in 2006 (+45%), with the total number of practitioners estimated at 600,000. The number of golf courses has more than tripled since 1980 and today they number 543. In addition, golf is a sport which, because of its strong reputation in Europe, generates a lot of money. It also attracts many prestigious sponsors. One of the clearest evidence of the importance of golf in Europe is the organizing of the Golf Show, held from 17 to 19 March 2007 at the Porte de Versailles in Paris.
We tried to gauge the non-sporting issues that play behind the scenes in such an event and conclude that there is still some way to go before we reach the level of the greatest golfing nations. Although encouraging, the figures in the development of golf in France must be placed in perspective. The comparison with other countries in Europe is final. The largest nation in Europe and the birthplace of golf, Great Britain, has a population of golfers three times larger than that of France and Scotland has as many courses as France, for just 8 million players. In Sweden, despite the difficult weather conditions, there are ten times more golfers than in France.
To what extent can golf still develop in Europe? How did it become a strong tourist attraction? How did golf become a sport that can generate "business"? All these are questions revolving around the sport. In the first part of the document, we will focus on the explanation of the organization of European golf and in the second part, we will focus on providing two levels: the structures and the golf equipment with an emphasis on new trends. The third part will discuss demand in terms of practice and performances and the fourth and finally part will focus on professional golf.