Golf’s leading provider of tee time management booking technology, BRS Golf, and the world’s biggest tee time marketplace, GolfNow, have reported a strong year in 2022 for both member play and visitor play in the UK & Ireland.
Together BRS Golf and GolfNow provide tee time booking solutions to 1,500 golf clubs across England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, making the tech giant one of the largest and most trusted sources of participation data for golf in the British Isles.
Over the course of 2022, BRS Golf processed 24.7 million member rounds. During both 2020 and 2021 there were Covid restrictions in some form, making it difficult to get an accurate year-on-year change in the number of rounds played. However the lack of post lockdown booms in golf this year has allowed us to see a steady run of member play and to get a more consistent picture of the level of member play by month.
With no lockdowns to reduce member play or post lockdown booms to inflate member play in 2022, we still saw phenomenal levels of participation. This year’s 24.7 million member rounds was 1.8 million rounds ahead of 2021, 2.5 million ahead of 2020, and 11.2 million ahead of pre-Covid levels in 2019. This represents an 8% growth on 2021, 11% growth on 2020, and a massive 84% growth on 2019. The sample set of golf clubs has remained stable over the last few years, so is a reliable source of data, with no material changes affecting the numbers.
Member Rounds by Country:
- England: 12.36M rounds
Ireland: 5.29M rounds
Northern Ireland: 1.78M rounds
Scotland: 3.98M rounds
Wales: 1.28M rounds
Over the course of 2022, we have seen a very consistent level of member play, with the patterns of monthly rounds following the traditional golf season. If we look at the two main off seasons (January-March and October-December) the levels of member golf were almost equal in these two periods, with 5.1 million vs 5.05 million rounds played. With restrictions in place in the UK in Q1 2021, it is impossible to compare to this period, but looking at Q4 2021, the level of member play has remained flat. However compared to the off season in 2019, we have seen an additional 2.3 million member rounds played in both Q1 and Q4 of 2022. Even with the shorter days, poorer weather, and golf courses going through course maintenance programs, we have continued to see a high level of member play.
In the main golf season (April-September) 14.5 million member rounds were played. This was down by 1.7 million rounds on the same period in 2021, though 2021 had the post lockdown bounce in April and May for all countries except Scotland to skew the figures. Compared to pre-Covid levels, an additional 6.5 million were rounds played, representing an 81% increase in play.
If we look at England in a slightly more granular way, and split the country into three regions – North, South and Midlands, we can further see where the growth in rounds has been. Using 2019 as the baseline we have seen 87% growth in the Midlands, 88% growth in the North and an impressive 105% growth in the South of England. This equates to in excess of 2.25 million rounds in the North, 1.8 million in the South, and over 1.8 million in the Midlands.
At the heart of the number of rounds played is the number of golf club members. Over the last three years there has been a surge in the level of members at BRS Golf clubs. At the end of 2019 we had 533,000+ registered members using our platform. By the end of 2022 we had more than 673,000 registered members. The number of clubs using BRS Golf technology has remained fairly flat over the same period. The data shows that average number of members per club, and how often the members are playing, has increased significantly.
We have more members, playing more often.
In 2019, the average golf club member played 25 times per year, and this number had been in steady decline over the previous two years. Fast forward to 2022 and member play has increased to 37 rounds per year. This represents a 45% increase on pre-pandemic levels. What is also clear is that over the last three years the level of average rounds per member has remained flat, with the slight drop in 2021 explained by golf courses being closed for the vast majority of Q1 in the UK, excluding Scotland.
GolfNow has seen a similarly strong 2022, with demand for visitor tee times as buoyant as we have seen it. Over the course of the year, GolfNow has generated £10.5 million in visitor green fee revenue for our course partners, with six consecutive months of more than £1 million in course partner revenue April-September.
GolfNow 2022 stats at a glance:
- 1,440 course partners sold rounds on GolfNow in 2022
The average basket value in 2022 was £54.37, with the average Price per Player being £24.59. This represents a 25% increase on the same period in 2019.
In terms of the revenue potential for a golf club on GolfNow in 2022:
4 clubs generated >£100k in visitor green fee revenue
12 clubs generated more than £50k and less than £100k
101 clubs generated more than £20k, and less than £50k
189 clubs generated more than £10k, and less than £20k
With operating costs increasing, many clubs are looking to bridge the gap with incremental visitor green fee revenue. You can contact your dedicated GolfNow Account Manager for any help on best pricing practice and in-depth knowledge of your own geographical golf market. If your club isn’t currently listed on GolfNow, contact our sales team for more information.
UK: 028 9568 0288
IE: 1800 852 935