April 11, 2015

23 Golf Player Demographic Statistics That Might Surprise You


Since the 19th century, golf has been one of the most frequently enjoyed pastimes in America. If you're thinking the game is just for retirees, you're way off the mark. There are nearly 15,000 courses in the U.S. where you'll find players from almost every walk of life aiming for a hole in one.

Not only do they differ in terms of their playing abilities, there's also a lot of variety when it comes to things like age, income and educational status. If you're curious about what kind of people are hitting the links, CreditDonkey has collected 23 statistics that shed some light on golf player demographics.

© Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

1. Golfing isn't just for the pros

Walking and jogging are great ways to stay fit, but many people prefer the lower impact workout involved with playing a round of golf. As of 2013, approximately 24 million people in the U.S. played golf at least once per year.

2. It's enjoyed in other countries as well

Canadians also enjoy getting out and hitting a few. As of 2012, there were 5.7 million players. There are another 4.4 million registered players in Europe.

3. Its popularity has waned somewhat in U.S.

With many Americans continuing to recover financially in the wake of the recent recession, golf has become a hobby that's too expensive for some people to maintain. About 400,000 people hung up their golf shoes for good in 2013 alone.

4. There's growth on the horizon

Despite some recent dips in participation, golf continues to attract new players. It's estimated that the number of golfers will increase by 3 million through 2020.

5. Men dominate the game

The Ladies PGA Tour continues to grow in popularity, but it's still men who dominate the fairways. Roughly 77.5% of golfers in the U.S. are male versus 22.5% who are female.

6. Playing regularly is the best way to improve your game

If you're looking to shave a few strokes off your game, you have to be a regular presence on the course. As of 2011, golfers played an average of 58 rounds per year.

7. The majority of golfers only play occasionally

Most golfers play fewer than 10 times a year, and 44% of them account for just 6% of the rounds played annually. Conversely, avid golfers make up just 26% of all players but they play 76% of all rounds.

8. Golf is a favorite among the older crowd

The largest percentage of golfers is composed of men between the ages of 18 and 59, and seniors easily outnumber younger players. The average age of golfers in the U.S. is 54 .

9. But it's catching on with kids

Thanks to programs like First Tee, more children are getting in on the game. In 2010, there were 2.5 million junior players between the ages of 6 and 17.

10. The majority of adult players are married

Although plenty of single men and women enjoy playing a round, golf is a sport that's primarily dominated by married folks. An estimated 68% of all golfers are married.

11. And college-educated

Golf is a game of the mind as much as it is a physical one. Players often need to rely on math and critical thinking skills to get the best shot, but it may be a little easier for the 67% who have a college degree.

12. The game is becoming more diverse

Tiger Woods has broken down numerous barriers throughout his storied career, which has opened the door to a wider array of players. As of 2010, right around 20% of all golfers belonged to a minority group, including African, Asian and Hispanic Americans.

13. Being a golfer isn't cheap

Between clubs, shoes and greens fees, a golfing habit can eat up a lot of cash. The average golfer spends nearly $2,800 on the game annually.

14. So it's important to have a solid career

Anyone can play golf, regardless of what kind of job you have, but it tends to be more common among professionals. Exactly 50% of all golfers are employed in white-collar positions.

15. Which means a bigger paycheck

For the most part, golfers are pulling in some pretty decent salaries, which makes keeping up with the cost a lot easier. The median household income of golfers in the U.S. is over $100,000 annually.

16. Golfers are technologically savvy

The game of golf has evolved to embrace new technology and the same goes for its players. Around 90% of golfers use the Internet regularly and many of them do so to research courses, look for tips on improving their game or make golf-related purchases.

17. They do a lot of web surfing on their phones

Just about everyone has a smartphone these days and golf aficionados aren't any different. Of the 75% of golfers who use smartphones, 40% prefer Android compared to 38% who use an iPhone.

18. And their tablets

The popularity of mobile devices goes beyond just phones, and 62% of golfers use or own a tablet. The iPad is the overwhelming favorite among 37% of users, with the Kindle Fire coming in second place.

18. They're no strangers to social media

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are just some of the social media networks where you'll find golfers. Approximately 60% of core golfers have a profile on at least one social media outlet, and nearly 4 million of them check their accounts at least once a day.

20. Golfers have different ideas on what improves their game

A stop at the clubhouse after the 9th hole is par for the course, and some golfers use it as an opportunity to unwind with a cold one. While 67% of golfers don't drink while they're playing, 37% of those who do believe it helps them to play better.

21. But they seem to be getting better overall

Your handicap measures how well you play based on how you play at a particular course. The lower the number is, the better. As of 2014, the average handicap was 14.3 for men and 26.5 for women.

22. Most players have years of experience under their belt

Golf is something you can play at just about any age, and if you've got a passion for the game, it could develop into a lifelong hobby. On average, adult American golfers each have 23 years of experience.

23. That doesn't mean they don't lose a ball every now and then

Water hazards are designed to make the game more challenging, and there's nothing more frustrating than seeing your ball make a big splash. Golfers lose an average of 1.3 balls per round played, which can add up to a lot of lost money over the course of a year.

Sources and References

More from CreditDonkey:


Life and Money Lessons from Baseball


REI Visa Credit Card Review


Best Time to Buy Golf Clubs

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