China golf most expensive, says KPMG


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice has recently published a raft of new research on the golf market. The Golf Benchmark Survey, in its third year, includes groundbreaking reports for China, North Africa and South America. Furthermore, a comparative Golf Benchmark Survey report has been published for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, mainly focusing on golf rounds and revenues recorded in various locations of this region.

Further publications of the Golf Benchmark initiative include an updated edition of the Golf Course Development Cost Survey, which aims to provide a better understanding of the factors influencing golf construction costs. The Golf Travel Insight report, based on a survey conducted among IAGTO member golf tour operators, provides information about golf tourism.

In addition to the Golf Benchmark reports, KPMG has also published The Value of Golf to Europe, the Middle East and Africa – A Study on the Golf Economy, prepared in cooperation with Oxford Economics.

Some key findings of the above market intelligence studies include: China, with approximately 300 courses and 300,000 golfers, is among the most expensive places to play golf in the world, with average 18 hole weekend green fees of €110, compared to €121 in Dubai, and average membership initiation fees of €36,100.

According to golf tour operators, Spain and Portugal are expected to be the most popular golf destinations of the upcoming years, followed by Turkey and Dubai.

According to the Golf Course Development Cost Survey (which will be featured in greater detail in the next issue of GCA), the cost of developing an 18 hole golf course has increased more than 20 per cent recently.

KPMG's Andrea Sartori said: "Not only do we now provide an insight to key operational performance indicators for golf courses in various geographical locations, but also to the costs of golf course development and the expected future golf tourism demand. As such, our in-depth research enables industry stakeholders to asses the golf market in an extended context, and draw conclusions that can strongly support their business decisions. I would encourage course architects and all industry stakeholders to visit the Golf Benchmark website and download our reports." The reports can be downloaded at

This article first appeared in issue 15 of Golf Course Architecture, published in January 2009.