Golf participation in Ireland is on the rise according to the latest Irish Sports Monitor (ISM) report, with more women taking up the game thanks to initiatives such as Get Into Golf.
The latest report from ISM revealed that 43% of the Irish population (approximately 1.6 million people) participate in sport at least once a week, which remains unchanged over the past two years. What is promising though is that overall golf participation has an increased to 2.5% of the population compared to 2.3% in 2015. More specifically, the number of women actively participating in the game has increased from 0.9% to 1.2%. This increment leaves golf as the 7th most popular sport in Ireland ahead of Gaelic football and hurling/camogie.
The results of the report came just as it was announced that 4,600 people have joined as introductory members of golf clubs via the CGI Get into Golf Programmes since 2014, 3,000 of which have been women and girls. Additionally, over 45,000 people have sampled golf through CGI community and school awareness days.
A statistical analysis of participation commissioned in 2017 also noted that the physical activity provided by golf is likely to be highly beneficial, particularly among older people. Evidence suggests that golfers are stronger, have better balance, and live longer than equivalent non-golfers.
Redmond O’Donoghue, Chairman of the Board of the CGI said, "these figures are a great boost for the game given the many efforts being made to increase participation in golf through the CGI Get into Golf Programmes".
"We continue to be fully committed to growing the game on the island of Ireland through recruitment and retention initiatives."
Sinead Heraty, Chief Executive of the Irish Ladies Golf Union commented, “it is very positive to see a narrowing of the gender gap regarding participation in sport. In particular, it is very encouraging that golf remains unchanged as the 7th most popular sport in Ireland and has achieved an increase in female participation since 2015.”
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