Golf resurgence reaches Nordics
Golf’s surge in popularity over the last year has become a familiar story, and figures emerging from the Nordic region are no different.
A deeper appreciation of green spaces, more leisure time from working at home and the fact golf can easily follow social distancing rules have helped the sport’s resurgence, and a survey by Syngenta Golf of new golf club members in the UK, USA and Canada found that more than half had joined primarily for mental wellbeing.
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In Sweden, there were 94,125 new golf club members in 2020, which equates to around 209 extra members at each of the 450 courses across the country.
The increase takes the total number of golf club members (538,962) to within close range of the all-time high figure of 554,293 recorded in 2004, and, promisingly, the biggest rise was in the 25-45 age range.
Membership numbers also grew in Norway (up 13,870), Denmark (+6,233), Finland (+7,962) and Iceland (+2,115) as more and more people gravitated towards golf during the pandemic.
Sweden had the most rounds played, at 11.6 million (up 43% from 3.5 million), with Denmark and Finland each playing nearly 4 million rounds, Norway racking up 2.5 million and Iceland notching half a million.
Blessed with long daylight hours through the season – typically May to October – the Nordic countries had more rounds per person in 2020 too, with the Danes and the Finns teeing it up most frequently at an average of 25.6 over the year, compared to 22 in Iceland, 21.9 in Norway and 21.6 in Sweden.