Golf continues to grow across Europe. The demand from those wanting to take up the game continues to fuel the development of new facilities – ranging from the large scale golf and leisure resorts, to low cost pay and play, driving ranges and even short courses designed specifically for children.
No precise worldwide golf statistics exist, but it is estimated that throughout the world there are 60 million golfers and 30,000 golf courses. Within the past 10 years the number of players in Europe has grown by an average of 7% while the number of golf courses has risen by an average of 5% per year. Within Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland claim 51% of all European golf courses and 43% of all registered European golfers, yet only 15% of the European population. In continental Europe, the main golf markets are Sweden, Germany, France and Spain. These four countries have 68% of all golfers and 61% of all golf courses in continental Europe (1).
The use of artificial turf in golf is today limited to indoor and outdoor golf practice facilities, but technology in the artificial turf industry has advanced to the point that many professional golfers are beginning to install artificial turf putting greens and chipping areas in their back yards.
Although the artificial turf for golf was made mostly of nylon, the new turf systems for golf are increasingly made of polyethylene and polyamide/nylon. Today, professional golfers and amateurs alike are benefiting from advances in artificial grass technology which create the ideal putting greens and golf greens with the look, feel and playability of the best natural grass greens, but without the high ongoing maintenance costs.
Player reviews are overwhelmingly positive, although it might take time to convince golfers - especially low-handicap players and hard-core traditionalists - that artificial turf can provide a realistic golfing experience.