At the end of his grand speech, to which Golf Planète was invited, the president of ffgolf Pascal Grizot launched an appeal to golfers without a license. In view of the figures presented, there is a lot at stake because the deficit is just as important…
Not enough said: golf is the most popular individual sport in the world. And this position is not ready to be disputed since the numbers are constantly increasing. In 2021 we went 66.6 million Let’s rant against the white ball!
This trend is also true in France, where there have never been so many licensees, with more than 430,000 golfers in possession of the prized card. But the numbers could be much higher if all practicing golfers got their licenses. But how many are there really?
How many practitioners in France?
By the early 2000s, the figure of 2 million practitioners had been put forward! Hmm…
In 2018, on the eve of the Ryder Cup, this figure had been reduced to 800,000 after further study (person who has played at least once a year, all structures combined). Certainly more reasonable, but is it realistic despite all that? In view of the growth observed today, should we consider that there are 400,000 practitioners walking without a license on French golf courses?
The number of unlicensed has been on the rise for a year.
According to a study by Sports Marketing Surveys, in Great Britain, a third of golfers are licensed… If we have to weigh this figure for France, which has a less important “golf tradition”, the figure of 400,000 seems realistic. And the trend is not downward: in all European countries we have seen an increase in players playing golf without a “license” during the last year.
However, not everyone is affected by the license. A large part would be according to the established “Sunday golfers” formula. They play very little in the year or “worse still”, they have only attended one initiation.
Others practice and see no point in insuring themselves or signing up for competitions. One thing is for sure, there are enough to Pascual Grizot worry about it
A significant shortfall
The stakes are high. Let’s project in a low hypothesis with an average license price of €40 and 100,000 “non-insertable” golfers. This would represent €4,000,000 a year in lost revenue for ffgolf! Remember that the product of the license contributes up to 60% of the total budget of the Federation…
As stated in February 2001 the executive director of ffgolf Christopher Muniesathe license allows provide a great collective effort at the service of the organization of the game, for the benefit of the players and of an entire industry “.
By launching this appeal, aimed at notable and noted commercial golf courses, Pascal Grizot indicates the direction in which golf wishes to move. In addition to being insured, participating in competitions and accessing a form of community, the license allows today to better understand the challenges of tomorrow, in particular regarding ecology.
An imposed and imposing ecological transition must be financed
The next environmental regulations, in force from 2025, force the sector to rethink the maintenance of the fields. If nothing is done to replace the blacklisted plant protection products, the fairways will look like potato fields and the greens will only have green in the name.
Significant investments in research and staff training are needed to find workable solutions that will allow courses to remain playable.
Paying for your license also means financing this imposed ecological transition. And allow any clueless golfer to continue playing in acceptable conditions that evolve according to the rhythm of the seasons.