A report, commissioned by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) has been released, highlighting the growing need to attract young people into the game.

The report analysed patterns of participation in golf over time, as well as exploring people’s motivation and patterns of playing. Its findings suggest that the highest participation rates in the country are for those in their 60s and 70s, while numbers of young people taking up the sport continues to decline.

Despite highlighting the benefits for older people of taking up the sport, such as a longer life-expectancy and improved mental well-being, golfing bodies with be concerned that in the past decade fewer people aged under 55 playing the game.

This trend is occurring in other countries and pre-dates Ireland’s economic crisis. It is possibly linked to changing patterns of family and working life. The report notes, however, that demographic trends imply increasing numbers of middle-aged and older adults in Ireland over coming decades, which will help to maintain high participation in golf.

Other findings include: a stronger increase in participation among women than men; greater participation among those with higher educational attainment and income; higher participation in Dublin, the rest of Leinster and urban areas.

For more details on the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, check out or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @CGI_Golf

Golf in Ireland: A Statistical Analysis of Participation” by Dr Pete Lunn and Dr. Elish Kelly, is published as part of the ESRI Research Series. The research was commissioned by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland.

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