The Open Championship begins this week and as people far and wide tune in to watch Rory McIlroy battle it out for first place, and see what Tiger Woods brings to the course, we wanted to take a deeper look at the sport and everyone teeing up.
About 1 in every 9 Americans Plays Golf
About 33.5 million people played golf – both on- and off-course – in 2018. In fact, data from the National Golf Foundation shows 1 in 9 Americans plays golf in some form, totaling more participation than in sports such as basketball, tennis, baseball, and skiing.
Adding in viewership and general engagement with the sport, golf reaches 107 million people overall – more than 1/3 of the U.S. population over 5 years old.
Where are the Women?
Women currently represent 23% of all golfers, about 5.6 million total – 900,000 of which are juniors. Overall, women are represented far more prevalently in beginners (31%), juniors (36%) and off-course participation (44%), than they are at the professional level.
Despite the growing interest of women to play golf, like many other sports, the gender pay gap runs rampant. In fact, according to the Golf Channel, in 2018 PGA Tour pros played for $340 million in prize money while LPGA – the women’s league – played for $67 million. Additionally, the LPGA player who finished 100th on her tour’s money list made $113,220 – the PGA Tour player that finished 100th made $1.2 million.
Driving for Diversity
Taking a look at the number of junior golfers (age 6-17), there were 2.5 million total in 2018 and 2.2 million that played exclusively off course. Better yet, the demographics of juniors are more diverse than ever:
- 36% were female, compared to 15% in 2000
- Almost 25% were minorities, compared to 6% 20 years ago
Whether you’re an avid player, looking to improve your short game, or simply itching for more chances to play a round, register for the 25th Annual MassBio Golf Classic and join us at the International in Bolton!