Five Emerging Golf Trends For 2015

golf-trends

Golf is big business, It is estimated that there are some 80 million golfers worldwide, playing on around 40,000 courses, and these figures are set only to increase. What will the generation X be focusing their efforts on in the coming years, and what will likely be the emerging trends for 2015 and beyond?

Let’s take a look.

Travel

To begin with, there will be more travel among golfers. One of the things that many love about the game is that there are so many opportunities to travel to different courses and test their skills, at the same time enjoying scenery which may be completely different from that at home, and also experimenting with different cuisines.

Food and golf have a tendency to go hand in hand, many golfers watching the Food Network as often as the Golf Channel. Add wine to that – many fine vineyards being situated in areas where there are also some outstanding courses – and you have a recipe for some great holidays.

The fact is that Baby Boomers are now retiring, and have more time for their hobby. Despite the recession of recent years, many of them are very well off, and can afford to go where they please. They can begin to make inroads into that bucket list of courses they have always wanted to play, but until now have been too busy with their careers and bringing up their families.

Courses such as the Royal Melbourne in Australia, The Old Course in St Andrews, and Royal County Down in Ireland head many people’s lists.

While golf trip with a buddy will still be popular, more and more couples will go together, as golfing holidays include such things as cookery classes and vineyard visits. Some destinations are pulling out all the stops in order to attract golfers.

In particular, French and Italian tour operators are making a point of emphasizing the delights of their haut cuisine. In addition, many Asian countries are building new courses, and aiming for more attention from overseas.

Younger Players

Already younger players are dominating the professional game and another of the likely 5 golf trends for 2015 is that this will increase.

Golf is perhaps one of the last sports to head in this direction. Sports and games such as snooker, tennis, chess, and many more that were the preserve of the more mature fifty years ago, have gradually been taken over by younger and fitter players, and now golf has followed suit.

It is to be expected that this process will continue, as golf tries to attract younger players, especially in countries such as China, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand.

 

Asia explodes

The game is becoming very big indeed in Asian countries such as those just mentioned. The fact is that Asian countries are becoming richer, and consumers have more money and time to devote to leisure activities than in years past.

There has been a boom in the number of children playing golf in China and in India, and there is more enthusiasm for it in those countries than in its traditional homes such as the US and the UK.

The professional game in these countries is also expanding, with names such as Xin Jun Zhang, Li Hao-tong, and Zhang Lian-Wei coming to the fore.

Indeed, the number of golf courses in China is now three times what it was just ten years ago. Courses there are being developed with the aim of bringing in tourists, as they are in Vietnam and Thailand. In fact, golf tourism is growing rapidly in these countries, as it is in the Middle East, where the courses are among the most profitable in the world.

There are also indications that golf is becoming more widespread in India, as well, and it may well be that the next Tiger Woods will hail from here or from one of the rapidly developing countries in the far east.

 

Golf Is becoming more Feminine

As more and more women take up the sport, the game is becoming more unisex. Traditionally, golf has always been a game played by men, ever since its invention back in the eighteenth century. Today, there are more women players than ever, which means that golf clubs are going to change.

While there is no doubt that many women like to spend some time at the nineteenth hole, golf clubs are going to become more family friendly. At the very least, they will have to provide facilities aimed at women, as well as men.

There will have to be family rooms, either instead of, or in addition to, bars, as men and women begin to play together, and bring the children with them. Indeed, it is possible to envision nurseries at golf clubs, as they strive to keep the business.

Golf is, after all, a business and a profit source for club owners and managers, and they will have to provide the facilities that are required by players in order to keep the business making as much profit as possible.

With more and more women taking up the game, there will begin to be unisex competitions, and more facilities provided for younger players, such as special holes. In many Asian countries, as many young girls are taking up the game as there are young men.

Indeed, a report just a couple of years ago by a Chinese news agency spoke of a school in Southern China that was offering free golf lessons to children in the kindergarten.

There is even a China Junior Golf Open Tournament in Sichuan Province for the more talented of these youngsters. The Chinese player Andy Zhang became the youngest player ever to qualify for the US Open at just 14.

 

Technology enabled equipment

It is true that technology is today giving every golfer the opportunity to improve his or her game. Once upon a time, the only way that you could learn more was to spend money on a coach, or spend money on playing many rounds until you discovered something new, or found out what you were doing wrong.

In the 21st century, all that has changed, and it is now possible to improve your game by wearing something as simple as a wristwatch.

For some time, there have been various wristwatches such as the Tom-tom Golfer, the Garmin Approach S6, or the Zepp Golf Sensor, which attaches to your glove, and gives information on your swing – backwards and forwards – and the speed of your hands.

The Zepp even tracks your hip movements, which is an essential piece of information for the weekend golfer.

The trend for 2015 is likely to provide even more information to enable golfers to improve their distance, and – crucially – their putting, with the latest tech stuff such as the Apple Watch.

Although the Apple Watch has only just been introduced, and Apple have made a big mistake by failing to anticipate demand, and therefore not producing nearly enough for the launch, they seem to have realized their error, and there should be sufficient to satisfy demand by June.

It remains to be seen just how much more information it can give you about your game, but knowing Apple, it will only offer you more help with improving it. Certainly, it is worthwhile checking out the specification.

 

Shorter Courses

Time constraints in the modern world mean that many people either do not want, or are unable, to spend four hours out on the greens and fairways. Therefore, there will be a trend towards shorter formats, of six, nine, or twelve holes, enabling people to enjoy their sport for an hour or two here and there.

Indeed, there are already courses being designed and built to accommodate shorter formats, and it is likely that in the not too distant future, competitions will be held for these also.

In France, which is home to the Ryder Cup for 2018, part of its commitment was to build several hundred short urban courses, so it seems that it will not be very long before someone organizes a short form competition in a similar fashion to the Twenty/20 cricket game.

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